Zambia regulator raises tariff for miners

The Energy Regulation Board (ERB) has raised power tariffs for mining companies by 28.8% from 2 April after almost three years of dispute involving state power utility Zesco and mining companies. Most mining companies in Zambia buy electricity via the private Copperbelt Energy Corporation (CEC). Zesco was pushing to increase power tariffs for mines to $0.078/kWh from $0.0531/kWh but the ERB only allowed a rise to $0.068/kWh. The ERB has raised mining tariffs twice since 2007 – a period in which non-mining tariffs increased by a cumulative 96% on average.

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Cost of renewables threatens new embarrassment for Eskom

As Eskom’s problems mount, there is growing concern about the increasingly serious cost implications of connecting renewable energy (RE) power plants to the grid. Connecting projects which are widely geographically dispersed to the grid poses a sizeable challenge. It is starting to become clear that Eskom did not adequately account for the grid needs of RE projects in its transmission plans, and that the cost of evacuating power from RE schemes has not so far been factored into the bid process, particularly given that, in South Africa, the arreas with the highest solar isolation have the weakest grids.

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Nigeria: Another step forward for the power sector as international investors bide their time

The government has confirmed preferred and reserve bidders for seven of the ten power plants that make up the National Integrated Power Project (NIPP). Approval for the remaining three was halted by a court action brought by local company Ethiope Energy. With a combined price of $5.8bn for all ten facilities, the sale revealed a higher valuation than many expected, demonstrating the draw of the potentially highly lucrative sector as well as the possibility of consolidation by some upstream players looking for reliable long-term gas offtakers.

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Ghana: Kojo Annan behind Gondwana deal

A company controversially awarded right of first refusal for the Offshore Cape Three Points South Block obtained its rights via Kojo Annan, the businessman son of former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan. Gondwana Oil Corporation’s listing statement for the Canadian Securities Exchange says that Gondwana acquired 70% of Miura Petroleum from Kojo Annan and Kareem Abu on 4 November 2013 in exchange for $1.5m in cash. Miura has preferential rights to negotiate for the block, which includes acreage relinquished by Hess.

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Mutual dependence dominates EU-Africa agenda

As the dozens of leaders departed Brussels, the 2-3 April Fourth EU-Africa Summit, and Fifth Europe-Africa Business Forum (EABF) that preceded it, could be judged a success. It was by all accounts the biggest such event ever hosted in Brussels, despite the no-shows – who included South African President Jacob Zuma, Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe (whose sanctioned wife Grace was denied an invitation), Yoweri Museveni (expected to attend but avoided protest at Uganda’s anti-gay policies), Morocco’s King Mohammed VI, and Algeria’s Abdelaziz Bouteflika and Côte d’Ivoire’s Alassane Ouattara (both ailing).

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Algeria: El Merk production plateau lower than planned

Anadarko’ Petroleum’s El-Merk development has almost reached plateau production with the completion of the final parts of the surface facilities and most of the wells now drilled. However, according to Algerian media reports, energy and mines minister and acting prime minister Youcef Yousfi has ruled out the US company’s original plan to establish plateau production of 127,000 b/d of crude from the two 65,000 b/d oil production trains plus 30,000 b/d of condensate. Instead, the present plateau of 85,000 b/d of oil and 15,000 b/d of condensate is expected to be maintained for six years. The Algerian news website Maghreb Emergent cited industry sources who criticised the original production plan as being based on a now discredited policy of ‘hyper-extraction’ championed by former energy and mines minister Chakib Khelil.

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Seplat in trendsetting dual listing as Nigeria becomes Africa’s largest economy

A long overdue rebasing of gross domestic product (GDP), the first since 1990, has seen Nigeria overtake South Africa as Africa’s largest economy. The rebasing process, which now sets 2010 as the calculation benchmark, has added $240bn to GDP,...

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Ghana looks beyond domestic gas to address its energy supply crisis

Despite estimated probable reserves of 5tcf domestic natural gas and a strategic location in the Gulf of Guinea, Ghana suffers power shortages that have for decades hampered economic growth. Even when the long-awaited infrastructure is finally...

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Uganda’s parliament votes to oust Umeme, Eskom, but investors stand firm with government backing

Days after private distributor Umeme posted profits of USh84bn ($32.9m) for 2013, a substantial increase on 2012’s USh57bn, parliament has asked the government to terminate the company’s 25-year concession, as well as recommending that Eskom...

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Nigeria, South Africa reaffirm Inga 3 offtake plans

Despite environmental campaigns against the Inga project, renewed support from Nigeria and South Africa has boosted optimism over its future both at the Ministry of Water Resources and Electricity and at the Société Nationale d’Electricité...

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Tanzania delays on LNG terminal location

More than a month after energy and minerals minister Sospeter Muhongo promised the location of Tanzania’s planned liquefaction facility would be revealed in less than a week, no decision has been made public and rumours of an upcoming announcement...

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Eskom looks to all available resources

The National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) will make a decision in April or May on a Regulatory Clearing Account (RCA) balance application submitted in October 2013 by Eskom. The application came after the troubled utility said it wanted...

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Perspectives

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

Violence mars Abyei talks, as South votes for independence

Although the exact number of casualties has not been independently confirmed, sources in Abyei said more than 20 people had been killed in fighting between the Dinka and Misseriya. The south claims the Khartoum government instigated the fighting to put pressure on negotiations and undermine the secession referendum process, which will deliver a massive majority in favour of secession.

Issue 202 - 4 February 2011

Azito failure means power cuts

Energy officials have warned of power cuts following a breakdown at the 150MW Azito thermal plant. Ministry of Mines and Energy director general of energy Simon Eddy, told business representatives Azito had been out of action since 22 December and was unlikely to be fixed before late April or early May.

Issue 180 - 5 February 2010

Cameroon looks to gas to revive growth

Long dismissed as a minor oil producer lacking access to the Gulf of Guinea’s prolific deep waters, Cameroon has high hopes of harnessing its gas for domestic use and export to boost its moribund economy, writes Thalia Griffiths, recently in Yaoundé

Issue 180 - 5 February 2010

Prevail and partners push on in Congo B

A Canadian junior’s project to redevelop a significant cluster of oilfields alongside two state companies suggests it’s not just big, long-established partners that are making the running in Republic of Congo, writes Eleanor Gillespie.

Issue 160 - 3 April 2009

Mag battles on with Inga and Busanga, bullish on Congo-B

Its MagEnergy Inc subsidiary has “found the Democratic Republic of Congo to be a very challenging investment environment,” TSX Venture Exchange-listed MagIndustries Corporation president and chief executive William Burton told the ambitious Canadian company’s first ever investor conference call, on 17 April. But Mag is pushing on with its Inga II refurbishment work, talks to finalise contracts – originally initialled in September 2005 – for work on four more Inga II generators and plans to build a 250MW hydropower dam at Busanga in Katanga (AE 146/5-9). It is also very bullish about fund-raising and other prospects for its potash and forestry schemes in Republic of Congo, which Burton confirmed would cost around $1.1bn as currently configured – releasing data that received a respectful hearing from the 89 analysts and others who dialled into the 17 April teleconference.

Issue 161 - 24 April 2009

Mag Congo-B potash plant will use gas

Gas from Eni’s Republic of Congo (ROC – Brazaville) operations, rather than electricity generated at Inga Falls in Democratic Republic of Congo, is expected to power the latest version of MagIndustries Corporation’s Kouilou minerals development.

Issue 152 - 12 December 2008

Glencore, Afex sign for gas-prone – contested – Cameroon block

Cameroonian state company Société Nationale des Hydrocarbures (SNH) has signed a production-sharing contract with Glencore and Afex Global for the gas-prone Matanda block (PH-72). Glencore, who will operate the block adjacent to Bowleven’s Etinde permit area, also has exploration acreage in Equatorial Guinea.

Issue 137 - 25 April 2008

Gabon country map

Published in March 2012, this map of Gabon shows the location of principal roads, railways, airports and settlements. Major oil and gas pipelines, fields and tanker terminals are also marked.

- 30 April 2012

Israeli gas sales remain explosive issue

Egyptian media have stepped up their campaign against the long-term sales contracts to supply natural gas to Israel through the East Mediterranean Gas Company (EMG),

Issue 206 - 1 April 2011

Domestic demand prompts Egyptian government moves to ease consumers’ concerns

Electricity and energy minister Hassan Younis met petroleum and mineral resources minister Sameh Fahmy in late October to confirm the supply of additional gas to the Ministry of Electricity to meet targets in 2011.

Issue 197 - 5 November 2010

Gabon cancels round, denies China sale

Gabon has cancelled its tenth licensing round and will offer the blocks through direct negotiations. Oil minister Julien Nkoghe Bekale has also denied reports that the government is in talks to license all 42 blocks to Chinese firms

Issue 197 - 5 November 2010

Beneficial interests at heart of Jubilee

Ghana’s Jubilee oilfield has been plagued by allegations of corruption dating back to beneficial ownership of companies granted licences to work on the giant oil block

Issue 195 - 8 October 2010

Sasol expands further in Mozambique

Sasol Petroleum International is expanding gas production from Mozambique, where the central processing facility produces 300mcf/d from the Pande and Temane fields, and a $500m expansion is under way

Issue 181 - 26 February 2010

Al-Megrahi’s return protects vital interests

Nearly a decade of quiet British diplomacy and adroit Libyan manoeuvring left Scottish Justice Minister Kenny MacAskill with no realistic option but to return convicted Lockerbie bomber Abdelbasset Ali Mohammed Al-Megrahi to Libya. Any alternative would have thrown into question the whole logic of rapprochement with Libya – one of the UK’s few notable international triumphs of recent years.

Issue 169 - 4 September 2009

NamPower’s Hwange power deal

Taking risk on the cash-strapped utility Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (Zesa) has been low on anybody’s list of priorities in recent years. However, African Energy was told that Namibia Power Corporation’s deal with Zesa

Issue 147 - 4 October 2008

Bouterfa travels to Brussels as Algeria mends fences with Desertec

Sonelgaz’s president tells African Energy that ‘our differences with Dii have been resolved’ as Algeria reassesses its attitude to European mega-schemes, writes Selwa Calderbank in Brussels

Issue 222 - 16 December 2011

EGYPT: Vinci-led JV to build Assiut project

A consortium of France’s Vinci and the local Orascom Construction Industries (OCI) and Arab Contractors has been awarded a civil works contract

Issue 222 - 16 December 2011

Uganda in the dark after leak stalls Bujagali hydro project yet again

With power cuts causing riots in Kampala, and the start-up of a long-awaited hydro-electric power project delayed for the fourth time this year, Uganda is in for a difficult dry season, writes Adrian J Browne

Issue 222 - 16 December 2011

Tullow consolidates as operator

Tullow Oil has agreed new production-sharing contract arrangements offshore Mauritania, where the company has identified new potential after the disappointment of the Chinguetti field. Tullow now refers to the West Africa Transform Margin play as the Mauri-Tano Trend, referring to an area

Issue 219 - 4 November 2011

Côte d’Ivoire escalates Ghana border row

Côte d’Ivoire has escalated a simmering border row with Ghana by demarcating new blocks that overlap with Ghana’s western acreage

Issue 219 - 4 November 2011

Muddling through is not enough if Jonathan is to win over north

Following his controversial election victory in April, Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan faces unprecedented pressure to tackle the policy failings and lapses of implementation that so many of his predecessors failed to address. Overcoming years of underdevelopment in the power sector,

Issue 216 - 23 September 2011

Piracy spreads down the East African coast

The Swahili coast’s upstream petroleum industry is taking shape as pirates step up their activity in an ever wider area.  The US military is playing an active role, but new offshore infrastructure is vulnerable, writes Adrian J Browne. In the past 18 months, eastern Africa’s offshore gas has been put firmly on the map for international companies, but the rush of explorers taking up acreage has coincided with an unprecedented increase in piracy off Somalia. The pirates have broadened their focus in recent years, hijacking fishing vessels for use as ‘mother ships’

Issue 216 - 23 September 2011

Jonathan finalises his new government, but key questions remain over oil industry reform

As President Goodluck Jonathan puts the final touches to his long-awaited new cabinet, having returned staunch ally Diezani Alison-Madueke to the petroleum ministry, questions over sector reform and industry power remain. Following his re-election in April, President Goodluck Jonathan has opted for continuity rather than change in the composition of his new cabinet, with 13 ministers expected to return to their portfolios.

Issue 213 - 15 July 2011

Symbion steps in to revive Dowans plant

As Tanzania’s energy crisis deepens, US developer Symbion Power has taken over the 120MW Ubungo power plant, which has been idle for nearly three years. Ubungo was previously owned by Dowans Holding, whose controversial contract was terminated in August 2008.

Issue 210 - 3 June 2011

Dominion wins L9 in new licensing spree

Bermuda-registered East Africa player Dominion Petroleum has taken a 60% operating stake in offshore

Issue 206 - 1 April 2011

Glencore calls Namibia's bluff over fuel imports

Fuel pricing will be reviewed as the company sues government over the cancellation of a fuel supply contract, writes Our Windhoek Correspondent. Glencore Energy has made good on its legal threats and sued the Mines and Energy Ministry to re-instate its contract to provide half of the country’s estimated 750,000 t/yr liquid fuel requirements (AE 197/20).

Issue 206 - 1 April 2011

See more:

Kenya’s oil and gas exploration blocks map

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Niger Delta and offshore hydrocarbons map

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Algeria's oil and gas exploration and production infrastructure map

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Zambia's electricity generation and transmission infrastructure map

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African Energy View

Investors have growing role in developing infrastructure

Development finance institutions (DFIs) remain the big beasts in developing infrastructure and other major projects in much...

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Guinea: Tullow stresses transparency agenda with project-level disclosure

Having suddenly declared force majeure in Guinea, nearly six months after the US Department of Justice launched a corruption...

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Libya funding blockade threatens paralysis of NOC payments

The national crisis provoked by the first successful export of crude from a terminal blockaded by former Petroleum Facilities...

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