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Following an agreement with Brazil’s Vale and controversial Israeli investor Beny Steinmetz’s BSG Resources to settle a long-running dispute over the Simandou iron ore resource, President Alpha Condé’s government believes it can launch iron ore exports and persuade a major investor to build the long-mooted Trans-Guinean Railway (TGR). Development of this ‘Southern Corridor’ for economic development and exports from Haute Guinée would provide a major boost in the lead-up to the 2020 elections, in which Condé is widely expected to seek a third term.

Guinea
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China’s TBEA has signed a concession agreement for the construction of a 300MW hydroelectric dam at Amaria on the Konkouré River to power a planned bauxite development. Work on the dam has started following earlier preliminary agreements for the scheme. The dam will provide power for a 30m t/yr bauxite mine and an aluminium smelter. President Alpha Condé formally launched the project in January 2018.

Guinea
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The Senegal River Basin Development Organisation (OMVS) signed a contract with Sinohydro on 26 February to develop the 294MW Koukoutamba hydroelectric project in northern Guinea. Sinohydro will build the $812m project, located in the department of Tougué, in the Labé region, on the Bafing River about 7.5km upstream of its confluence with the Senegal River, under an engineering, procurement and construction contract financed by the Export-Import Bank of China. Construction is expected to begin before the end of H1 2019, and take four years, according to project manager Bouya Condé.

Guinea
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Germany’s Man Energy Solutions announced on 20 February that it has started installing six 18V32/40 diesel engines at the 53MW Tè power plant in Conakry. Guinea’s first development finance institution project-financed independent power project, it is being built in collaboration with Turkish engineering, procurement and construction contractor Iltekno, on behalf of Tè Power Company, which is sponsored by Endeavor Energy as lead developer and majority owner.

Guinea
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Brahms Oil Refineries has appointed the Lagos-based Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) as financial adviser for the development of a petroleum refining and storage infrastructure project at Kamsar port. The project consists of petroleum storage and transportation infrastructure as part of a 12,000 b/d modular refining facility. Brahms Oil Refineries, based in the UAE, is part of Brahms Group SA, a Swiss-based investment management company focused on developing projects in West Africa.

Guinea
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An unusually short rainy season has sharply reduced power production from the Kaléta dam, obliging the authorities to increase their use of thermal energy. Electricité de Guinée (EDG), the state power company managed by France’s Veolia, obtains its grid power from a mix of hydroelectric dams (58% of installed capacity) and thermal power plants (42%), but production from hydro plants has been affected by a sharp decline in the length of the rainy season from six months in 2017 to about three months in 2018.

Guinea
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Amid a deteriorating political situation, President Alpha Condé’s government has been counting on a $20bn Chinese infrastructure investment-for-minerals package, linked to Simandou and other projects, to herald a better future ahead of elections in 2020. But Rio Tinto’s late October decision to lapse its 2016 agreement for Aluminium Corporation of China (Chinalco) to take over its stake in the Simandou iron ore project has underlined the challenges in implementing Conakry’s hoped-for minerals-financed infrastructure boom.

Guinea
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Guinea is seeking to attract badly needed development funds by emphasising to mining companies that any agreement on minerals concessions should include an infrastructure component. A delegation led by mines minister Abdoulaye Magassouba and minister for investment and public-private partnerships Gabriel Curtis visited London in early July for talks with potential investors.

Guinea
Issue 373 - 13 July 2018

Guinea: Vedanta signs bauxite deal

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Emirates Global Aluminium (EGA) and India’s Vedanta Limited signed an agreement on 4 July under which EGA will supply Vedanta from 2019 with bauxite from its mining project in the Boké region. First bauxite exports from EGA’s $1.4bn Guinea Alumina Corporation (GAC) project are expected in H2 2019. Once full ramp-up is achieved, GAC is expected to produce some 12m t/yr of bauxite.

Guinea
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The government on 30 June announced a 25% increase in the pump price of diesel and kerosene. The decision has been sharply criticised for lack of consultation, for its timing at 10pm on a Saturday during the football World Cup, and for its probable impact in a country where more than 57% of the population lives on less than $1/day. Fuel prices have risen sharply from GNF8,000/litre ($0.89) to GNF10,000, on the orders of President Alpha Condé.

Guinea
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Private equity investor Denham Capital on 27 March announced that Tè Power Company (TPC) had reached financial close for the $121m Tè project and begun construction of the 50MW greenfield thermal power plant in Conakry. Financial close of the project’s $89m debt financing took several months longer than expected, reflecting the complexities of launching Guinea’s first independent power project to be project financed by a development finance institution (DFI).

Guinea
Issue 365 - 15 March 2018

BSGR in voluntary administration

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Israeli billionaire Beny Steinmetz’s mining company BSG Resources (BSGR) has voluntarily entered administration to protect it from legal disputes related to the Simandou project in Guinea. Business advisory firm BDO said the Royal Court of Guernsey had appointed two of its representatives as joint administrators on 6 March. “Our primary objective is to return BSGR to solvency and to ensure that all creditors will be paid in full.

Ghana | Guinea
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Renewed load-shedding brought groups of angry youths onto the streets of Conakry in early January, protesting in several districts by erecting barricades and throwing stones at vehicles. Officials blame the power cuts on the failure of Electricité de Guinée (EDG) to pay its suppliers of fuel and lubricants for its thermal units.According to a government source, the state owes at least €30m ($35m) in unpaid invoices to various suppliers, including Mauritania’s Star Oil.

Guinea
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Texan junior Hyperdynamics filed for bankruptcy on 22 December, after a Chinese investor pulled out of a deal to buy 53% of the company following the failure of drilling offshore Guinea. Hyperdynamics announced in November that it had reached a definitive agreement to sell 40m shares to CLNG Limited (Hong Kong) for $6m, but in December the Guinean government turned down its request to extend the licence, which was the company’s sole asset.

Guinea
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InfraCo Africa, part of the Private Infrastructure Development Group, announced on 15 January that it has committed $3.1m to the 40MW Khoumagueli solar photovoltaic (PV) project. The commitment came with the signing of a joint development agreement with Solvéo Guinea Renewable Energy – the project company – and its owners Solvéo Energie SAS and Solvéo International Investments, both part of Solvéo Group. InfraCo Africa will take a 45% stake in the project, which is targeting financial close in Q1 2019 and commercial operations in Q1 2020, with the remainder held by Solvéo.

Guinea