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Veteran Resistência Nacional Moçambicana (Renamo) leader Afonso Dhlakama’s surprise return to the bush in October 2012 was an unsettling reminder of the fragility of post-conflict Mozambique, as guerrilla roadblocks returned and coal exports were halted in the central region. Renamo’s rebellion was triggered by demands for a greater share of state jobs and resources. A peace agreement signed on 24 August 2014 promised jobs, above all in the army and police, and set a platform for campaigning to start for general elections on 15 October.

Mozambique
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Despite governance shortfalls and a number of crises, President Filipe Nyusi’s government has reassured investors with its support for transformational LNG schemes, leading towards final investment decisions and financial close in the months to come. This is a major success for an African gas industry where smaller projects seem to be making more impact than the majority of big-ticket schemes. Mozambique’s progress reassured CbI Meetings’ 2-3 May Africa Investment Exchange: Gas event in London that the African industry can deliver world-scale projects.

Tanzania
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The 22 January announcement that Globeleq and its partner IPS had reached financial close for the 253MW expansion of their 460MW Azito gas-fired plant at Yopougon, near Abidjan, was timed to coincide with a visit to London by an Ivorian delegation led by President Alassane Dramane Ouattara for the UK-Africa Summit. General Electric will provide gas turbine technology and services for the Phase IV project. The new and enlarged 20-year Azito concession agreement underscores Côte d’Ivoire’s ability to finance major private sector infrastructure projects.

Côte d'Ivoire
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Announcing job losses and investment cutbacks, Big Oil’s flagship companies are emitting signals that should be heeded by those African oil-producing governments that are less inclined to believe the world is changing to their disadvantage. Dramatic announcements of changes of strategic direction by BP, Eni, Royal Dutch Shell and Total suggest most majors see their futures as diversified energy companies, rather than old-style IOCs.

Free

The global LNG market has been undermined just when ExxonMobil was expected to reach a final investment decision on its 15.2m t/yr Rovuma LNG scheme – the biggest of three projects aiming to channel at least $50bn of foreign investment (and possibly much more) into Mozambique over the next decade.The gas boom was expected to drive spectacular levels of economic growth, but while Mozambican economic planners and their allies contemplate the LNG project’s start-up being delayed possibly until 2030, the government is confronted with a burgeoning Islamist insurgency and huge economic pressures.

Mozambique
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Senegal is a relatively small economy with a reputation for competent, if sometimes flawed, governance of its limited resources. The prospect of an administration with a taste for joined-up government tapping recently identified offshore gas resources, and attracting investment in its abundant solar and wind resources, suggests that President Macky Sall’s Plan Sénégal Emergent strategy to achieve emerging market status by 2035 is not overblown.

Senegal
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Judging by the headlines, 2014 has been a significant year for improving electricity supply in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), where only 290m of the 915m population has access and the total number without grid connections is still rising, according to the International Energy Agency. Several independent power projects (IPPs) have reached financial close, including Ghana’s long-awaited Cenpower deal; others are almost there – most notably Nigeria’s template-setting Azura-Edo IPP, whose impending completion was a focus for participants at the 24-25 November Africa Investment Exchange: Energy (AIX) meeting in London. Multilaterals and governments report progress in efforts to develop ‘transformational’ schemes including Grand Inga and strategic transmission projects.

Mozambique | South Africa
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Société Tunisienne de l’Electricité et du Gaz (Steg) has launched an international tender for the construction of a gas-fired power plant in Mornaguia in the northern governorate of Manouba, near Tunis. Bids for the project, which should comprise two industrial turbines with a gross capacity totalling 550-660MW at ISO baseload conditions, are due by 8 March. The power plant should be commissioned before the summer of 2020, according to the tender notice issued on 16 January. Steg seeks to sign a separate maintenance contract at the same time for 12 years from the expiry of the guarantee period of the equipment and infrastructure.

Tunisia
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President Muhammadu Buhari finally responded to popular concerns over security by replacing his military top team on 26 January. With the economy hobbled by low oil prices and coronavirus, he has allowed a little more economic flexibility, although it remains to be seen whether his costly defence of the naira’s inflated value will be replaced by the foreign exchange market unification favoured by the International Monetary Fund and World Bank.

Nigeria
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With sky-high prices apparently a thing of the past, the outlook is gloomy for liquefied natural gas (LNG) exporters, even in the most lucrative markets, such as Japan. With a predicted supply glut running into the next decade and price pressures accentuated by the fast-emerging spot market (for more on this see African Energy’s sister publication Gulf States News http://www.gsn-online.com/amid-shifting-global-gas-supply-gulf-states-emerge-as-their-own-best-market) only a few major projects are still expected to go ahead worldwide. In Africa, these include Eni’s Zohr field in Egypt and developments in Mozambique’s Rovuma Basin (as well as its smaller, more southerly fields supplying South Africa).

Mozambique
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Cameroon may be the Central African Economic and Monetary Community’s largest economy, but it remains a political and commercial enigma. Decision-making can move at a glacial pace, in a political system dominated by President Paul Biya, whose apparent aspirations to be re-elected to a fourth seven-year term are a cause of concern, not least for a youthful population living in poor economic and social circumstances. However, progress has been made in delivering services, reflected in the energy sector by national utility Eneo, owned by UK private equity investor Actis, and Victoria Oil and Gas’s growing business selling gas to industry and consumers in commercial hub Douala.

Cameroon
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Investors, contractors and financiers have been reassessing southern Africa’s potential to emerge as a natural gas producer, supply hub and importer of molecules and electrons for gas-to-power (GTP) schemes. Mozambique’s emergence as an LNG exporter gives it potential to develop new gas-based industry and infrastructure. Developments in southern Mozambique further suggest it could drive a wider regional industry, with more gas exported by pipeline.

Mozambique | Botswana | Lesotho | Angola | Namibia | Malawi | eSwatini (Swaziland) | Zambia | Zimbabwe | South Africa
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As hydrocarbons prices have pushed upwards after their slump, a degree of future planning has returned to the global gas market. New liquefied natural gas (LNG) export projects are in prospect, led by Australia and the United States, but with a few schemes in Africa. In Mozambique’s Rovuma Basin, a final investment decision (FID) on Coral LNG, led by Eni and ExxonMobil, is expected by end-2017, for exports to Asia from the early/mid-2020s. As the industry builds up, Mozambique expects a big domestic dividend, with the Rovuma Basin also supplying domestic gas-to-power (GTP) projects.

Mozambique
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Local content provision has long been a hot topic in the oil and gas industry, but many delegates at the 3-4 October Africa Investment Exchange: Nairobi event were surprised at how far the issue could generate controversy and block support for electricity projects. Several African delegates spoke of building local content into projects to drive industrialisation that, in turn, will improve living standards and stimulate demand for power. But one major funder insisted their institution could not support projects that created “market distortions” contravening the European Union’s standard procurement procedures.

Free

Gas-fuelled power projects have an important role to play in Africa, according to African Energy Live Data’s figures. The Africa-wide database lists 313 operating gas-fired plants, with 84,226MW of installed capacity; another 39 plants are under construction (with total 32,933MW capacity) and 156 are planned (66,921MW). The majority are utility-scale facilities supplying national grids; Live Data records 206 of these as operational (75,487MW), 33 under construction (28,754MW) and 119 planned (58,061MW).