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General Electric (GE) announced on 24 February that it has signed a fast-tracked seven-month turnkey agreement to supply equipment and services including two 9E.03 gas turbines and electrical balance of plant for national utility Société Tunisienne de l’Electricité et du Gas’ project to add 250MW to its Bouchemma power plant. The deal includes a two-year contractual services agreement with a possible ten-year extension. A gas power plant using GE turbines has been operating at the coastal site in Bouchemma since the 1990s. It is hoped that the additional capacity will help keep the lights on at tourist resorts during the summer. GE has 15 turbines at seven plants in Tunisia with combined capacity of more than 1.8GW.

Tunisia
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Production cuts by a majority of Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) producers, working in coordination with non-Opec exporters led by Russia, have helped to raise oil prices from their 2014-16 lows; the strategy seems likely to maintain crude benchmarks at around $50 for some time. While second-guessing the oil price is a hazardous business, African Energy’s soundings of major international oil companies (IOCs) suggest this represents a ‘new normal’ for the industry, as factored into corporations’ base case scenario-planning.

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GE Oil and Gas is to supply equipment and technology for the Chevron-operated Lianzi project, to bring the offshore field straddling Angola and Republic of Congo (Brazzaville) on stream

Angola | Congo Brazzaville
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London-based offshore Block 2B operator Thombo Petroleum Ltd has awarded a 3D seismic acquisition and processing contract to WesternGeco, covering 686km2 of the A‐J1 graben off South Africa’s west coast.

South Africa
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As this is African Energy’s 200th issue, the editorial team is minded to reflect on past stories and their links to current news

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

Côte d'Ivoire
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State utility company Office National de l’Electricité has lined up a E50m ($67.6m) buyer credit to support the construction of a 72MW power plant in the Agadir region to be built by Man Diesel & Turbo.

Morocco
Issue 335 - 24 November 2016

Ethiopia: New ministers

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Prime Minister Hailemarian Desalegn has named Sileshi Bekele as new minister of water, irrigation and electricity. An ethnic Oromo with a background in hydraulics, he had recently been working with the Ethiopian embassy in New York in rallying diaspora Ethiopians to mobilise support for science and maths education in Ethiopia, the Ethiopian News Agency said. He was previously a lecturer and dean at Arba Minch Water Technology Institute, and worked for several international water resources organisations. Motuma Mekassa, the previous minister, has moved to the Ministry of Mines, Petroleum and Natural Resources.

Ethiopia
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The Export-Import Bank of India (Exim Bank) on 29 October agreed a $22.5m line of credit (LoC) to finance power grid expansion in the greater Banjul area. Exim Bank now has five LoCs in place for Gambia, but this is the first for the power sector. Exim Bank will reimburse the entire cost of contracts awarded to Indian exporters.

Gambia
Issue 271 - 14 February 2014

Kenya: Ormat adds new Olkaria capacity

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Ormat Technologies has completed plant 3 in the Olkaria III geothermal power plant complex, bringing total generation capacity to 110MW. The power generated by the Olkaria III complex in the Hells Gate national park near Naivasha is sold under a 20-year power purchase agreement with Kenya Power. The new capacity will enable Kenya to decommission its remaining 30MW of costly rental power. Olkaria III was financed with a $310m debt facility from the Overseas Private Investment Corporation.

Kenya
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The recent increase in oil prices will be especially welcomed by Central Africa’s small but dominant ruling elites. The stand-off over Gabon’s presidential election – with Jean Ping contesting the narrow victory announced for President Ali Bongo Ondimba, his former brother-in-law whom he served as foreign minister – is just the most recent manifestation of political turbulence in a region where vulnerable economies have been rendered even more fragile by the slump in the global commodities cycle. Suggestions that Republic of Congo President Denis Sassou Nguesso and allies close to the presidency in Côte d’Ivoire might have supported Ping against Bongo point to the network of close contacts that still typifies the region’s murky politics.

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The World Bank Group’s International Finance Corporation is requesting expressions of interest from consultants to help the Electric Supply Company of Malawi (Escom) implement the results of a commercial loss reduction study. The consultant will develop a roadmap covering diagnostic work, a losses baseline, assessing and establishing commercial losses, assessing and establishing technical losses, and conducting a review of the regulatory framework. Submissions are due by 8 October. For more information see: https://wbgeconsult2.worldbank.org.

Malawi
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Operator CNOOC has made a gas and oil discovery with the E-1 exploration well on the Elephant prospect in the Haute Mer A licence area. Partner Oryx Petroleum said the discovery would be tested in early 2014 as part of a multi-well drilling and testing programme on the block. “Reservoir quality, crude quality and viscosity appear to be better than originally anticipated while the areal extent of the reservoir appears to be slightly smaller than expected,” said Oryx chief operating officer Henry Legarre. “Although subject to testing, the discovery gives us confidence that there is further upside potential and opportunity to expand the prospect inventory in the licence area.”

Congo Brazzaville
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The Agence Française de Développement and the Kenyan and French governments signed a financing agreement worth €33m ($37m) on 1 August to support renewable energy powered mini grids. The project is expected to introduce 9.6MW of solar photovoltaic capacity and 0.6MW of wind generation to power 23 mini grids which currently rely on diesel generators. Kenya Power will be responsible for the project, which is expected to reduce the cost of power on the grids by an average of 20%.

Kenya
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The Export-Import Bank of India has approved a $24m line of credit to the government of Côte d’Ivoire towards the $136.3m cost of a project to connect the electricity grids of the two countries. The Exim Bank has previously supported transmission lines between Côte d’Ivoire and Mali, agreeing a $30m line of credit in late 2009. Only Indian companies can be awarded contracts funded using the Exim Bank line of credit. The deal is the Indian export credit agency’s 200th line of credit worldwide, amounting to more than $12.2bn.

Côte d'Ivoire