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Nigeria is proving to be a testing ground for trucking gas on African roads, while Circle Gas’s LPG-based cooking solution is building up a consumer base in Kenya and Tanzania. Africa remains a frontier market for ‘virtual pipelines’ and other innovative uses for gas, but business models are evolving to create some vibrant new industries, writes Jon Marks.

Nigeria | Kenya | Ghana | DR Congo | Tanzania
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Ruzizi III Energy invites prequalification bids by 15 February 2021 for the engineering, procurement and construction of the Ruzizi III regional hydropower project on the border between Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda.

DR Congo | Rwanda | Burundi
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Gridworks hopes its recently awarded concessions in DRC will demonstrate the case for larger-scale isolated grids in Africa. The company says the project offers the size and critical mass that is missing from most mini-grid models, which it hopes will create efficiencies and reduce costs, writes Dan Marks.

DR Congo
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A consortium led by CDC Group’s Gridworks announced on 26 November that it had been selected as preferred bidder for the Essor Access to Electricity (A2E) Initiative in Democratic Republic of Congo. Gridworks has partnered with Eranove and AEE Power for the project.

DR Congo
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The Ministry of Water Resources and Electricity has launched a two-stage tender for the selection of a private sector developer to build and operate under a long-term concession a 100MW-150MW hydropower station on the Nzilo 2 site on the Lualaba River.

DR Congo
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Société Nationale d’Electricité (Snel) says the Inga I and II hydropower plants could be restored to 90% capacity by year-end following turbine rehabilitation work. The 351MW capacity of Inga I was fully restored in mid-November following repairs to the G16 turbine which broke down in early October, cutting supply to Matadi, Boma, Muanda and Tshela in Kongo Central province. News reports quoted the plant’s interim manager, Serge Mbiyavanga, as saying a short-circuit had damaged the 58.5MW turbine.

DR Congo
Issue 427 - 19 November 2020

DR Congo: Parliament backs Sombwe hydro

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Parliament’s Environment, Tourism, Natural Resources and Development Committee has given its support to the 166MW Sombwe hydropower project being developed by Congolese company Kipay Investments in Upper Katanga province. The $500m project is being developed on the Lufira River, 30km downstream of the Kiubo Falls, 300km north of Kolwezi, to help to reduce a supply/demand gap in the Katanga region estimated at 1,000MW, including 270MW for Ivanhoe Mines. It will include a solar plant to be built by Kipay near the Fungurume substation to ensure uninterrupted supply.

DR Congo
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Shortly before its concession was due to run out on 18 November, Total has renewed its contract to run the Djeno oil terminal in a revised arrangement that is expected to bring new equity partners into Republic of Congo’s principal crude loading point. The agreement was reached during a visit by the French major’s chief executive, Patrick Pouyanné, for talks with President Denis Sassou Nguesso on 2 November in Oyo.

DR Congo
Issue 426 - 05 November 2020

World Bank debars Kalpataru, CEDRI

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The World Bank has announced debarments of India’s Kalpataru Power Transmission Ltd and its regional subsidiaries and of China Electric Design and Research Institute (CEDRI). The bank said Kalpataru was sanctioned as a result of fraudulent practices when participating in the Southern African Power Market Project (SAPMP) in Democratic Republic of Congo, which rehabilitated and extended high-voltage power lines, and the Egypt Wind Power Development Project (EWPDP), which included developing transmission infrastructure.

DR Congo | Zambia
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Mauritius-based independent power producer Tembo Power says it is in negotiations with “one of the biggest offtakers in the Katanga provinces” to supply power from three hydropower projects it is developing in Democratic Republic of Congo.  

DR Congo
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The government has turned to a group of regional banks led by Libreville-based Groupe BGFIBank to provide some of the finance needed to repay its mounting domestic debt and pump funds into the ailing economy.

DR Congo
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The Nile Equatorial Lakes Subsidiary Action Program of the Nile Basin Initiative invites expressions of interest from consultants by 7 October to update the feasibility study report, detailed design and tender documents for the Uganda-Democratic Republic of Congo Power Interconnection Line Project.

DR Congo | Uganda
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Germany’s Fichtner in consortium with France’s Nodalis Conseil and ISL Ingénierie have been awarded a contract worth €3.585m to act as consulting engineers for the 147 MW Ruzizi III hydropower project on the borders of Rwanda, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

DR Congo | Rwanda | Burundi
Issue 418 - 26 June 2020

DR Congo offers grid masterplan

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President Felix Tshisekedi has announced plans for a masterplan to integrate Africa’s power grids to create a single African electricity market. Speaking on 22 June at the launch of a videoconference on the Grand Inga project, he said such a masterplan, to be drawn up by the African Union and African Development Bank, with the support of African governments, would help underpin the financial viability of the ambitious 40GW scheme. An integrated African power market is already among the AU’s ambitions, but Tshisekedi is hoping to move the project forward with Inga as a hub.

DR Congo
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The Project Coordination and Management Unit (UCM) of the Ministry of Water Resources and Electricity invites bids by 17 July for the extension of the Lungudi hydropower plant in Tshikapa in the south- western province of Kasai. The Lungudi 2 project is be financed by the African Development Bank group as part of the Governance Improvement and Access to Electricity Sector Project.

DR Congo