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The British government’s indefinite postponement of the UK Africa Investment Summit from April suggests the Sunak administration’s domestic political calculations are now trumping strategic thinking on international relationships.  

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French energy major TotalEnergies plans to add 14,000 b/d of condensate output by mid-2024 and up to 4 mcm/d of gas by 2028 from the south-eastern Nigerian field.

Nigeria
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Project bulletin

State utility Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KPLC) has given African Energy an update on the progress of procurement and project milestones for the Kenya Off-Grid Solar Access Project (Kosap).  Under the first phase of the World Bank Group-funded project KPLC will implement 89 mini-grids in eight counties.

Kenya
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Published February 2024, this graphic presents two maps showing regional rail lines and infrastructure corridors. The main map shows railway lines across Angola, DR Congo Tanzania and Zambia, with a focus on the route of the Lobito Corridor railway lines from the Angolan coast to Tenke in DR Congo and the proposed Zambian spur from Luacano. It also shows the route of the Tazara railway from Dar es Salaam to Zambia. A second, smaller map shows the proposed Liberty Corridor and railway line linking the Liberian coast to the Nimba iron ore project in Guinea. The maps also shows the route of the under construction Trans-Guinean railway, which will connect to the Simandou iso ore projects in Guinea plus the route of the Côte d’Ivoire- Liberia-Sierra Leone-Guinea (CLSG) interconnector that could allow hydropower plants in Côte d’Ivoire to export power to mining projects in Liberia and Guinea.

DR Congo | Angola | Guinea | Zambia | Liberia | Tanzania
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The wave of coups across the Sahel region over the past three years appears to have prompted a surge in defence spending across Africa – as newly-installed military regimes pour money into their own fiefdoms and other governments seek to bolster their security. International Institute for Strategic Studies data show total spending rose by more than one-fifth in 2023, but more money for soldiers and armaments means there is less to spend on social and infrastructure improvements.

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Robert Friedland’s High Power Exploration (HPX) plans to develop a rail line to take iron ore from its Nimba licence in south-eastern Guinea to a deep-water port at Didia in Liberia. It is the second major Mano River region iron ore rail announcement in recent months following the giant Simandou scheme, and promises to increase demand for electricity from Côte d’Ivoire’s hydroelectric plants.

DR Congo | Guinea | Liberia | Côte d'Ivoire
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African Energy's 500th issue leads with an examination of the growing competition for African minerals, which is heating up with rivalry between US and China driving a rush to build strategic export-focused railway infrastructure on a scale not seen since the height of the Cold War. Washington’s $500m commitment to the minerals export-focused Lobito Corridor has been countered by a $1bn Chinese proposal to rehabilitate the creaking Tazara line. African Energy also takes a closer look at the planned ‘Liberty Corridor’ rail link. High Power Exploration (HPX) plans to develop a rail line to take iron ore from its Nimba licence in south-eastern Guinea to a deep-water port at Didia in Liberia. The ‘Liberty Corridor’ also promises to increase demand for electricity from Côte d’Ivoire’s hydroelectric plants. Power coverage leads with Tunisia, where Scatec’s decision to scrap its largest solar scheme, while renegotiating two smaller projects, provides a glimmer of hope to legions of other developers with stalled project. African Energy’s analysis points to a narrow commercial window through which more projects might advance, but more fundamental change is needed before several gigawatts of wind and solar in other stranded schemes can succeed. Oil and gas coverage includes a focus on Mozambique, where construction is expected to restart in mid-2024 at Mozambique LNG. African Energy's second Risk Management Report focuses on Senegal. The African Energy View reflects on what has and hasn't changed since African Energy's first Issue in 1998, including a focus on the impact of Africa’s growing populations on the SDG7 goal of achieving universal energy access by 2030.  

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London AIM-listed indie Chariot is planning an initial two-well exploration drilling campaign, but has approval for 17 other candidate well locations and re-entry of an existing gas discovery.

Morocco
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Project bulletin

C&I specialist CrossBoundary Energy (CBE) is to finance and build a hybrid solar, battery energy storage and thermal plant for FG Gold’s Baomahun project in Sierra Leone. Situated in the Valunia and Kunike Barina chiefdoms of the Bo and Tonkolili districts, Baomahun will be the country’s first large-scale gold mine.

Sierra Leone
Free
Project bulletin

State utility Uganda Electricity Generation Company Ltd (UEGCL) has synchronised the sixth and final unit of the Karuma hydroelectric power plant to the grid.

Uganda
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With elections looming later this year, under-pressure President Cyril Ramaphosa used his 8 February State of the Nation Address to extol the ruling African National Congress party’s successes since the end of apartheid. However, his administration’s failure to deal with key election concerns – the electricity crisis, high unemployment, poverty and crime – could lead the ANC into uncharted territory come polling day, writes Tonderayi Mukeredzi.

South Africa
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Primera Gold, a joint venture between the Democratic Republic of Congo and United Arab Emirates, aims to more than quadruple the amount of gold it exports from DRC this year, despite criticism from a UN panel.

DR Congo
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Rio Tinto’s MoU with Kigali to explore and mine lithium signals the continued interest of mining majors in African transition minerals.

Rwanda
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Project bulletin

Work has begun on the construction of a solar PV plant that will supply power to Glencore’s Rhovan vanadium mine and processing facility in South Africa’s Northern West province.

South Africa
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President Macky Sall’s decision to postpone the 25 February presidential election until 15 December exacerbated an already poisonous atmosphere in Senegal. His 19 February decision to reverse that decision should lead to an election being held very soon, but political tensions will persist. African Energy’s Risk Management Report focuses on political risk indicators in a country that has long been favoured by donors and investors, and whose natural resources industries are booming as offshore oil and natural gas exports beckon. With attention firmly directed towards gas-to-power development, most other aspects of electricity industry reform, such as the unbundling of utility Senelec and introduction of wheeling have been left on hold – and further delays are likely.

Senegal