Uganda: World Bank considers grid loan

The World Bank Group is considering a $100m International Development Association loan to support government plans to develop the national grid. The grid expansion and reinforcement project (Gerp) supports developments under the Uganda Electricity Transmission Company Ltd (UETCL) grid investment plan, which the World Bank estimates will require around $2bn ...

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Power scandal rocks Tanzanian government ahead of elections

Several high-profile government figures have been dismissed over a new power sector corruption scandal set to overshadow the contest for the leadership of incumbent party Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) and ensure corruption remains top of the agenda in the run-up to October’s elections. The scandal centres on payments to ...

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South Africa: New CSP projects approved

The Department of Energy has announced the selection of the 100MW Redstone solar thermal project and 100MW Kathu Solar Park as preferred bidders for its third concentrated solar power (CSP) independent power producer (IPP) bid round. Earlier, two preferred bidders from previous rounds – 100MW Xina Solar One, owned by Spain’...

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Seplat makes bid approach to Afren

London-listed Seplat has confirmed that it has made a preliminary approach to beleaguered Afren. The company has until 19 January to make a firm bid. Afren has been a potential bid target since July, when it suspended chief executive Osman Shahenshah and chief operating officer Shahid Ullah after uncovering evidence that ...

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Morocco promotes LNG imports

There have been several false dawns, with Moroccan governments promising a major new gas import scheme to provide energy security for two decades. But recent statements by energy minister Abdelkader Amara suggest Rabat is finally committing to LNG. Amara has said the long-awaited gas law will come before parliament by ...

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Fuel tankers and oil terminals drawn into battle for Libya’s resources

The willingness of the army general staff in Tobruk to use air strikes to reinforce its control of territory within Cyrenaica and to attack its opponents in Tripolitania, combined with Fajr Libya’s failed attempts to seize the Es-Sider oil export terminal, have introduced new threats to downstream operations. Since ...

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Critical year ahead for Rovuma Basin’s gas giants in waiting

Impressive reserves announcements have fuelled speculation about an East African gas boom based on the Rovuma Basin offshore Mozambique and Tanzania, and projections of Asian demand and prices. However, how far Africa’s east coast will go in...

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Battle lines drawn for Nigeria’s 2015 election

Nigeria enters the new year facing daunting challenges: the security situation in the Boko Haram-blighted north-east shows no signs of improvement, Niger Delta issues remain unresolved, and a global oil crash has undermined government budgets that...

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Libyan power infrastructure targeted as civil conflict escalates

The willingness of the opposing sides in Libya’s renewed civil conflict to attack economic assets has put the nation’s electric power generation capacity under renewed stress. Parts of eastern Libya were without power for at least six consecutive...

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South Africa: Heavy toll of mismanagement gradually becoming clear

Years of mismanagement of the power sector threaten to extract a heavy toll on the South African economy. With blackouts now frequent enough to be barely newsworthy while big new generation projects face a raft of problems, Eskom faces a short term...

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Renewable energy atlas charts DRC hydro potential beyond Inga

The government has published a comprehensive atlas of Democratic Republic of Congo’s renewables potential, focusing on the vast hydro resource outside the Grand Inga complex. The 582-page atlas, compiled by experts from the United Nations...

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Renewables developers team up

With projects in 15 African countries close to financial close, Dubai-based Access Power MEA has teamed up with Luxembourg and Paris-based Eren Group for its next phase of expansion. Access chairman Reda El Chaar told African Energy the company was...

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A selection of free articles from African Energy's extensive database

ICA finds rise in infrastructure finance commitments, but implementation patchy

Reports of significantly increased commitments for energy and other projects across the continent have been given substance by the Infrastructure Consortium for Africa (ICA) annual report, unveiled in Cape Town on 25 November. The ICA reports that, for the second year running, there was a significant rise in commitments and disbursements for energy, transport, water and information and communications technology (ICT) ...

Issue 290 - 4 December 2014

Uganda: Bid round planned for 2015

Uganda is planning a licensing round next year, and the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development is evaluating bids from consultancy companies to assist with the process. Ministry principal geologist Fred Kabanda told Global Pacific & Partners’ Africa Oil Week conference in Cape Town on 5 November that despite the exploration successes of recent years, the Albertine Graben was only 40% explored, and ...

Issue 289 - 20 November 2014

Liberia: Bid round closes

Bid round advisers EY opened licensing round bids from prequalified companies in London on 17 November. National Oil Company of Liberia (Nocal) said EY would now provide an independent evaluation of the fiscal terms contained in each bid. Winning bidders are expected to be notified by 24 November, and Nocal will then negotiate production-sharing contracts (PSCs) with the companies. The Liberia Basin ...

Issue 289 - 20 November 2014

South Africa: REIPPP wrestles with grid issue

The Department of Energy’s Independent Power Producer (IPP) office has been working hard to resolve issues with connecting renewable IPPs to the grid and monitoring their economic development commitments, influential National Treasury senior project adviser Karen Breytenbach told the South African National Energy Association earlier this month. Grid connection is the primary obstacle to closing the projects of preferred ...

Issue 289 - 20 November 2014

Ghana: Agreement on disputed Tano blocks, but ratification awaits

Pan Andean Resources and the government have reached agreement in a dispute which began in March after Parliament ratified the award to Houston-headquartered, Nigerian-owned Camac Energy of the Expanded Shallow Water Tano (ESWT) Block. Some of ESWT’s acreage was already licensed to the Irish-led Pan Andean. Investors welcomed the deal, but observers said parliamentary ratification could take some time, ...

Issue 288 - 10 November 2014

Eskom offered R20bn backed by asset sales

Finance minister Nhlanhla Nene’s medium-term budget policy statement speech said the government would inject at least R20bn ($1.82bn) into Eskom, but only once the struggling national utility had sold some non-strategic assets. The funding will be deficit-neutral, with Eskom only to receive the funds after the non-strategic asset sales. Nene added that, “if necessary”, the funds could be ...

Issue 288 - 10 November 2014

DR Congo: Kinshasa blacks out with Inga II breakdowns, power line delays

The situation at the 1,424MW capacity Inga II plant has become extremely problematic, with state utility Société Nationale d’Électricité (Snel) warning the public in mid-October that Kinshasa and Bas-Congo Province would suffer serious power cuts until December, owing to maintenance problems. Two of Inga II’s five operational 178MW turbines will have to be repaired before end-November. Snel ...

Issue 288 - 6 November 2014

Namibia: Tullow drops Kudu gas development as share price tumbles

Tullow Oil and its partner Itochu Corporation are pulling out of the Kudu gas field development, transferring their stake back to the government, which looks set to bring in Chinese partners in their place. Industry sources said Tullow had lost patience with the slow progress on the project, where the government had been supposed to find a new upstream partner ...

Issue 288 - 6 November 2014

Kenya: Wells planned for onshore blocks 2B, 12B

Operator Taipan Resources has signed a letter of intent with China’s Greatwall Drilling Company to contract the GW-190 land rig for the high-impact Badada-1 well on Block 2B. The Anza Basin well is expected to spud between mid-December and mid-January and take around 70 days to drill. Premier Oil farmed into the onshore block in October 2013, taking 55%. “The Badada-1 well ...

Issue 287 - 27 October 2014

Nigeria: IFC buys $50m of Seven Energy bond issue

The World Bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC) has subscribed to $50m of notes in the inaugural bond issuances by Nigerian gas developer Seven Energy International. Seven Energy is Nigeria’s first unlisted oil and gas company to tap the international capital markets, and the company’s bond issuances raised a total of $400m. Part of the proceeds will fund ...

Issue 287 - 27 October 2014

North Africa: Desertec disappears into the sand

The much-vaunted Desertec Industrial Initiative (Dii) has made many claims since its foundation in 2009, initially as a predominantly German conglomerate of major industrial companies whose big idea was to harness the world-scale solarity of the Sahara and wider Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region to generate power for export into the European Union. Even as more international companies signed ...

Issue 287 - 24 October 2014

Nigeria: Ophir founders Stein and Taylor join Sirius Petroleum

AIM-listed Sirius Petroleum has appointed Ophir Energy founders Alan Stein and Jonathan Taylor to a new technical advisory committee to help it bring its Ororo field in block OML95 offshore Nigeria into production. The appointments form part of a broader technical advisory agreement with Perth-based natural resources investment company Havoc Partners, which was co-founded by Stein and Taylor. Sirius acquired 40% ...

Issue 287 - 24 October 2014

South Africa: US officials speak out over Koeberg tender

The dispute that broke out between Westinghouse Electric Corporation and Eskom following the award to France’s Areva of a R4.2bn ($383m) contract to replace six steam generators at the Koeberg nuclear power plant (AE 285/3, 284/5) has led to strongly worded statements from US officials. US ambassador to South Africa Patrick Gaspard told the Nedbank-NEPAD Business Foundation Networking Forum this ...

Issue 287 - 24 October 2014

South Sudan: Questions over ‘oil for arms’

In August, a 600,000-barrel oil cargo for September lifting was awarded to China International United Petroleum & Chemicals (Unipec). But, according to an oil industry source, Unipec was invoiced to pay not the government of South Sudan, but Chinese arms manufacturer China North Industries Group Corporation (Norinco). This arrangement has not been made before, but there is precedent for a direct ...

Issue 286 - 10 October 2014

South Sudan oil production drop to cost $2m a day

South Sudan’s oil production has fallen by about 25,000 b/d, or 15%, due to problems with well maintenance in the key producing state of Upper Nile, according to the latest sales and marketing data from the Ministry of Petroleum and Mines. The ministry has outlined a lifting programme for 4.2m barrels of crude for November, equivalent to 140,000 b/d. Production ...

Issue 286 - 9 October 2014

Corporate China seeks deeper penetration across African markets

President Xi Jingping’s call for China-Africa trade to exceed $400bn by 2020, with infrastructure investment a priority in driving that exponential increase, is a realistic target as ever more Chinese companies explore the continent’s markets. China Inc made a spectacular return to African business in the last decade, with bilateral trade rising from $10bn in 2000 to $210bn in 2013 – an ...

Issue 286 - 9 October 2014

New Eni CEO investigated over OPL 245

Eni’s new chief executive, Claudio Descalzi, is under preliminary investigation by the Milan prosecutor’s office in relation to the acquisition of Nigerian block OPL 245 in 2011. Descalzi, who replaced Paolo Scaroni in May, was head of Eni’s exploration and production division at the time of the Nigerian transaction. “Eni continues to deny any illegal conduct,” the company said ...

Issue 285 - 29 September 2014

Niger Delta E&P plans $450m equity offer

Niger Delta Exploration & Production (NDEP) plans to raise $450m through a share offer, CEO Layi Fatona told the company’s annual general meeting in Lagos on 19 September. The first tranche of $200m is expected to be raised by year-end from either local or international markets and will fund the acquisition and development of oil fields in Nigeria. There is no ...

Issue 285 - 25 September 2014

Morocco: Bids in but no decision on 850MW wind farms

State utility Office National de l’Electricité et de l’Eau Potable (ONEE) has finally opened bids for 850MW of power to be generated at five sites, a key element in the Integrated Wind Energy Programme (PIEE), which aims to generate 2GW by 2020. Decisions on the 850MW element (tender no SP 40 311) have been delayed while ONEE has put together financing ...

Issue 285 - 25 September 2014

New Rwanda utility faces up to challenge of expanding generation

Rwanda plans to raise generation capacity to 563MW from 115MW by 2017, and to increase the electricity access rate to 70% from 18% within the next three years. The Ministry of Infrastructure says this ambitious level of expansion is essential if Rwanda is to reach its target of 11.5% annual growth over the next five years.The government restructured the Electricity, Water and Sanitation ...

Issue 285 - 25 September 2014

Ghana thinks big on small-scale solar

Off-grid solar provider Persistent Energy Ghana (PEG) is seeking to quadruple its customer base by year-end, despite the many challenges presented by a new market. “In Ghana, there are approximately 5m people off grid. If we only reach a tiny percentage of them, we will hit our targets,” PEG chief operating officer Nate Heller told African Energy. The company, owned ...

Issue 284 - 11 September 2014

Guinea renews Aggreko contract despite high cost

Beleaguered state utility Electricité de Guinée (EDG) has announced the renewal of its 50MW emergency power contract with Aggreko, which accounted for a massive 36% of EDG’s total expenditure in H1 2014. The utility’s half-year results, released in late August, show that investment in generation, transmission and distribution infrastructure received only 4% of total H1 2014 spending. According to EDG, in ...

Issue 284 - 11 September 2014

Somalia takes Kenya to ICJ over maritime border dispute

The Somali government has turned to the United Nations International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague to resolve its maritime border dispute with Kenya. In its application, posted on the ICJ’s website on 28 August, Somali minister of foreign affairs and investment promotion Abdirahman Dualeh Beileh asked the court to determine the course of the maritime boundary, saying “diplomatic ...

Issue 284 - 11 September 2014

New Somalia co-operation agreement seeks to build capacity

Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Petroleum has signed a co-operation agreement with the Somali Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources aimed at building capacity. Mubadala, part of Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund Mubadala Development Company, which is led by Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, said the agreement was “aimed at sharing knowledge, increasing the strength of the Somali ministry and ...

Issue 283 - 7 August 2014

Côte d’Ivoire: Markets snap up bond issue

Côte d’Ivoire has priced a $750m ten-year bond at a final yield of 5.625%, according to a government statement. Government debt is rated B1 (positive outlook) by Moody’s and B (positive outlook) by Fitch. The country missed coupon payments on its outstanding 2032 Eurobond in 2010–11 as it emerged from political and economic crisis, and had to restructure its external ...

Issue 282 - 25 July 2014

Morocco: IFC gives Acwa Power a push

The World Bank’s International Finance Corporation private finance arm is investing up to $100m in Saudi developer Acwa Power, which “will help the company significantly increase the amount of power it generates from renewable sources and meet growing energy demand throughout the Middle East and North Africa [and] the southern cone of Africa”, the IFC said in a statement ...

Issue 282 - 25 July 2014

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Mozambique's Hydrocarbons Infrastructure

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Kenya's hydrocarbons infrastructure

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Power infrastructure in Congo B, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea

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South Africa's power infrastructure

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African Energy View

Ethiopia emerges as a market that investors can’t ignore

The success of Ethiopia’s $1bn, ten-year sovereign bond issue, to provide hard currency to finance infrastructure...

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Despite industry upturn, details continue to bedevil SSA power projects

Judging by the headlines, 2014 has been a significant year for improving electricity supply in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA),...

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Majuba incident exposes fragility in South African power industry

South Africa’s energy security remains fragile as load shedding continues to weigh on GDP – which is forecast to be...

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