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Société Nationale d’Electricité (Snel) has given ABB an order worth $107m to upgrade the 1,700km Inga-Kolwezi power transmission link, one of the world’s longest electricity transmission systems. ABB will refurbish the stations that convert alternating current to direct current and back on the 560MW link it built in 1982. The link uses high-voltage direct current technology to transmit power from the Inga Falls hydropower station on the Congo River to the mining district of Katanga and enables excess power to be exported to the Southern African Power Pool.

DR Congo

Société Nationale d’Electricité du Burkina (Sonabel) has contracted MAN Energy Solutions to supply three diesel gensets for the expansion of the Kossodo thermal power plant in Ouagadougou. The Germany-based engineering group announced on 18 June that it would supply three MAN 18V51/60TS engines to raise the capacity of the baseload plant in Kossodo, a suburb of the capital, by 55MW to 110MW, and in the process increase national generation capacity by almost 20%. Local company Tecmon BF is acting as the main contractor.

Burkina Faso

The government has issued a general procurement notice for a study on the integration of wind facilities into the Egyptian power system and modifications to the existing wind integration grid code


In theory, there is a huge amount of business to be done in Libya.


One region seems above all others to stubbornly buck the positive political and economic trends recorded over two decades by African Energy: it comprises the six Communauté Economique et Monétaire de l’Afrique Centrale (Cemac) countries and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Events in the last month, including a failed coup in Gabon and contested elections in DRC, underline Central Africa’s chronic crisis of leadership. Such political behaviours are increasingly seen as an anachronism in a world structured by social media, as well as by older social bonds and traditional patterns of coercion by elites.

Issue 239 - 21 September 2012

Aggreko: Major reorganisation


Glasgow-based global power rental giant Aggreko has announced a major restructuring of its global operations, to come into effect 1 January 2013.

Issue 260 - 09 August 2013

Uganda: CWE awarded Isimba contract


China International Water & Electric Corporation (CWE) has been awarded the contract to build the 188MW Isimba dam, Reuters quoted junior energy minister Simon D’Ujanga as saying. D’Ujanga, who also announced the award of the contract for the 600MW Kindaruma project to Sinohydro earlier this year, said: “We’re looking for cheap money to develop our infrastructure projects and China has that money.” The Isimba contract is reported to be financed with a $500m concessional loan from the Export-Import Bank of China.


The attack on a bus carrying the Togolese football team as it entered Angola’s oil-rich Cabinda enclave from Republic of Congo shocked the Luanda government, and the international community, on the eve of the Africa Cup of Nations (Cocan2010) tournament’s kick-off in Luanda.

Issue 174 - 13 November 2009

BENIN: New EIB loan for CEB


The European Investment Bank is lining up a €35m loan for Communauté Electrique du Bénin to build 308km of 161kV lines and refurbish a further 289km of 161kV lines and eight substations. Appraisal is under way for a loan seen as necessary to avoid major power supply disruptions and to extend the reach and quality of transmission infrastructure in Benin and neighbouring Togo.


The deals signed during President Vladimir Putin’s visit to Libya in April not only shed further light on Russia’s ever more assertive policy towards North Africa – reflected in a growing number of energy sector deals (see Downstream and markets, above) – but may also indicate a potential extension of Libyan policy in the region.


Prime minister Philemon Yang brought nine cabinet ministers to London in early May to drum up private sector investment, with energy the top priority. But, despite the rhetoric, project progress remains slow. As part of the Vision 2035 development plan, the government aims to boost power capacity to 3,000MW by 2020, requiring some $6bn of investment. “Currently, 30% of the government budget goes to public projects, but we need more private investment to work alongside this,” Yang told the UK-Cameroon Trade and Investment Forum organised by Developing Markets Associates.


While the $2bn-plus ‘tuna bonds’ scandal rumbles on in international courts, Mozambique’s reputation has generally been boosted on President Filipe Nyusi’s watch. The authorities have coped relatively effectively with crises like Cyclone Idai and in ending armed conflict with Renamo, while the Rovuma Basin gas developments could transform the economy by the mid-2020s. An impressive upturn in internationally financed solar and other projects underlines Mozambique’s emergence as a hub in the global energy transition, aided by the hard work of committed local officials.

Issue 216 - 24 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 227 - 15 March 2012

Oil terminal


The government has entered into a memorandum of understanding with Cyprus-registered Gunvor Group to create an oil storage and trading terminal on the island of São Tomé

São Tomé & Príncipe

The government has issued further tenders as part of its ‘Projet Pagose’ plan to improve performance in the electricity supply sector and at state water and electricity utility Jiro sy Rany Malagasy (Jirama). The Ministry of Energy and Hydrocarbons has invited expressions of interest by 29 July for a World Bank International Development Association-backed project to provide technical assistance to develop an electrification strategy, including evaluating the current programme, conceptualising, planning and implementing a national strategy, and preparing a national electrification plan. Applications can be emailed to, copied to and