The latest figures from African Energy Live Data suggest that Q1 2020 saw the lowest generation capacity additions in Africa for at least 20 years, with no new on-grid generation from February after coronavirus halted construction and commissioning

Key takeaways:

  • Net capacity of only 240MW was added to the grid in Africa in Q1 this year. While 438MW was added overall, another 198MW from rental plants was decommissioned.
  • Provisional figures for Q2 show that activity did not stop entirely, with construction resuming at a number of sites after strict lockdowns enforced in March began to relax. Live Data has recorded 713MW of new capacity coming online in Q2, which may be subject to revision in coming months.

 

 

The data will come as little surprise after the Covid-19 pandemic caused construction and commissioning of power plants across the continent to grind to a halt.

Several larger projects began operating before lockdowns were put in place in March. The 170MW expansion and combined-cycle conversion of Centrale Electrique du Congo’s 314MW Pointe-Noire gas power plant began operating on 17 February. The plant uses a 170MW AE94.2 turbine and WY21Z-097 air-cooled generator supplied by Ansaldo Energia and is supplied with gas from Eni’s M’Boundi field.

Karadeniz’s 105MW Ibrahim Bey powership began operating in Guinea in February. A one-year contract was signed for the project in December 2019 and the company said at the time it would meet 10% of the country’s power demand.

Also in February, Scatec Solar commissioned two 75MW solar PV plants – Sirius Project One and Dyason’s Klip I, both in South Africa’s Northern Cape. The plants were selected in the fourth round of the renewable energy IPP procurement programme in 2015. Work on the fifth round is expected to get under way in earnest this month when concurrence from the regulator with a ministerial decision to procure more power is likely to be given.

The remaining projects coming online in Q1 were small commercial and industrial solar and battery plants or mini-grids.

Provisional figures for Q2 show that activity did not stop entirely, with construction resuming at a number of sites after strict lockdowns enforced in March began to relax. Live Data has recorded 713MW of net new capacity coming online in Q2, which may be subject to revision in coming months. Most of the new capacity was accounted for by the 650MW Mornaguia gas power plant in Tunisia, which came online in June.

Scatec Solar announced the commissioning of its third 75MW South African solar project of the year, Dyason’s Klip II, on 6 April. Meanwhile, activity in the off-grid solar, battery and diesel hybrid sector has continued in some places, notably with the commissioning of several projects in Nigeria.

 

Further information

For more information about these findings, please contact:

Alex Wark, business development manager.

Dan Marks, African Energy, power editor.