Power developments in Africa, September 2017

Egypt to expand renewable energy projects

ACWA Power signed a power purchase agreement with the government of Egypt for three solar photovoltaic power plants in Benban under Round 2 of the feed-in-tariff (FiT) programme. The three projects will have an aggregate capacity of 165,5 MW. The construction will begin late 2017 and then power 80 000 houses. Egypt’s FiT programme aims to secure 2000 MW of solar capacity and 2000 MW of wind capacity.

Coal-fired power station planned

The Sese joint venture has completed the technical studies for the coal mining and power generation for the 450 MW Sese integrated power project in Zimbabwe. A conceptual study determined that Sese coal is a suitable fuel for either pulverised coal boiler technology (PC) or circulating fluidised bed boiler technology (CFB). Fuel specification datasheets were completed for both PC and CFB boilers. Studies of coal mine scheduling for the coal mine are complete and final detailed engineering studies and the completion of a formal mine plan will be available soon.

Kenyan geothermal project

Construction of the 105 MW geothermal power plants in Menengai, Kenya, are likely to start soon after the government issued letters of support (LOS) to independent power producers (IPPs). The national treasury confirmed that the much-needed LOS will be expedited. The government LOS is a requirement by IPPs to start construction of power plants. The Geothermal Development Company is set to start the Suswa geothermal project which has an estimated geothermal potential of 750 MW. The Mt. Suswa geothermal project will provide affordable and reliable clean energy to boost Kenya’s economy. The project will also open job opportunities for many Kenyans.

Utility-scale solar PV for Lesotho

A subsidiary of OnePower Lesotho will develop the country’s first utility scale 20 MW solar photovoltaic project. The electricity will feed into the national grid in Mafeteng province. The project will contribute to a strategic phase-out of costly power imports from Mozambique and reduce reliance on imported coal-generated power from South Africa. The project will contribute 13% of Lesotho’s maximum system demand of around 150 MW. The Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa approved a US$695 500 loan to develop the project.

50 MW wind power for Ghana

Engie and Eleqtra, a developer of power and transportation projects in sub-Saharan Africa, signed a joint development agreement which defines the terms and the schedule for the development and construction of the 50 MW Ada Wind power project in the Greater Accra Region in Ghana. The project is expected to cost $120-million and to start operations early 2019. The location offers a combination of strong wind resources, availability of open land and good access to transmission infrastructure. The Ada Wind project will contribute to the Ghanaian government’s objective of generating 10% of its electricity from renewable resources.

4,5 GW project in Tunisia

The Tunisian Ministry of Energy, Mines and Renewable Energy is considering a 4,5 GW solar export project. The solar complex will be built in the Sahara Desert in Southwest Tunisia and is set to supply Europe with up to 4,5 GW, with some being left over for local consumption. The 4,5 GW will be enough to power 5-million European homes or 7-million electric vehicles. Three HVDC submarine cables between Tunisia and Eurape are already under development.

Expanding MV networks in Mauritania

The government of Mauritania and the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development granted a loan of KD10-million (US$34-million) to finance the expansion of medium voltage networks in south east Mauritania. The agreement outlining the implementation of the project was also signed by the Kuwait Fund and Mauritania Electricity Company, which will implement the project. The project will provide electricity to people in the Gorgol and Guidimaka regions. It will extend a loop of 595 km of medium voltage (33 kV) which is composed of three sections: Selibaby-Kehide, Kehide-Gouray, and Gouray-Selibaby, together with low voltage networks (400 V) and consumers’ connections.

Transmission line upgrade

The Ghana Grid Company is reconstructing transmission lines in the greater Accra region. The company will upgrade the 161 kV Tema-Achimota-Mallam transmission line and the work will be done from the Volta substation at Tema through Ashiaman, Adjirigano American House area, Dzorwulu, Kotobabi, Avenor, Industrial area, North Kaneshie, Bubuashie, Kwashieman, through Mallam to the Mallam substation.

Hydropower expansion

Joule Africa will build an extension to the existing 50 MW hydro station, Bumbuna I, situated in the north east of Sierra Leone, adding 143 MW of power capacity. Construction on Bumbuna II, will begin in mid-2018 with operations to start four years later. Seli Hydropower will build, own and operate Bumbuna II. The Bumbuna Hydroelectric Power Project forms a critical part of the government of Sierra Leone’s long-term energy strategy.

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