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Issue 332 - 18 October 2016

Kenya: First transformer factory opened


Chinese company Yocean Group on 5 October opened a transformer factory near Nairobi, Kenya’s first. Cabinet secretary for energy and petroleum Charles Keter said: “The opening of the first factory for manufacturing transformers in the Kenyan market is a milestone. It will end importation of electrical equipment that in some way slowed down power connection in the country.” This is expected to ease the procurement of electrical equipment. Yocean has a three-year contract to distribute transformers in Kenya. Chief executive Dylan Yu said the company would expand its footprint in East Africa in the near future.


The trial of former president Rupiah Banda, which opened in April, has been suspended until October. Banda was charged with abuse of office in connection with a Nigerian oil deal with the Abuja-based Sarb Energy (AE 253/26). Former energy minister Kenneth Kongo, who was testifying as a state witness, rejected claims that Banda personally benefitted from the deal.

Nigeria | Zambia
Issue 339 - 02 February 2017

New Ghana team to tackle economy


the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will send a mission to Accra this month to discuss its three-year $918m programme with the new government of President Nana Akufo-Addo (AE 337/1). A key focus will be the budget deficit, which the incoming government puts at 8%, well ahead of the IMF target of 5.3%, as well as debt levels, presently 70% of gross domestic product.The new government is targeting double-digit growth to modernise the economy, with a focus on agriculture and agro-industry.


PetroSA has brought in Rosgeo as a partner in a fresh bid to develop blocks 9 and 11a to maintain gas supply to the Mossel Bay refinery following the failure of Project Ikhwezi.PetroSA said the Russian state-owned company would invest $400m to acquire more than 4,000km2 of 3D seismic and over 13,000km of aero gravity/magnetic data, and drill exploration wells on the two blocks off South Africa’s southern coast. “The project envisages extraction of up to 4mcm of gas daily.

South Africa

A string of wells are due offshore West Africa by year-end, with Ghana’s neighbours hoping to emulate its success in pursuing the Transform Margin play. Liberia is particularly in the spotlight, while Côte d’Ivoire is seeing work resume following the lifting of force majeure restrictions, writes Thalia Griffiths

Ghana | Liberia | Côte d'Ivoire

Mustapha Bakkoury has stood down as leader of the Parti Authenticité et Modernité, a political party now in opposition but close to the royal palace, allowing him to spend more time on his other job as head of Moroccan Agency for Solar Energy (Masen). King Mohammed VI in late December ordered that Masen should be given a wider role in implementing renewables projects. Ilyas El-Omari was unanimously elected as new secretary-general at the party’s 22-24 January conference at Bouzenika.

Issue 234 - 15 November 2012

Egypt: EoIs sought for efficiency study


Egyptian Electricity Holding Company (EEHC) is requesting expressions of interest from consultants for a study looking at improving the operational efficiency of one or two steam-cycle power plants.

Issue 155 - 23 January 2009

GABON: Campaigners detained


Five anti-corruption campaigners were detained in late December and charged with possessing written propaganda with a view to inciting rebellion against state authorities.


ExxonMobil announced on 13 December the completion of a transaction by ExxonMobil Development Africa BV to acquire a 25% indirect interest in Mozambique’s Area 4 from Eni and assume responsibility for midstream operations. The deep-water Area 4 block contains an estimated 85tcf of natural gas in place.ExxonMobil will lead the construction and operation of all future natural gas liquefaction and related facilities, while Eni will continue to lead the Coral South floating LNG project and all upstream operations.


Norway’s Scatec Solar announced on 11 April that commercial operations had begun at a 65MW solar photovoltaic (PV) project in the Benban solar complex. A number of plants are already operating at Benban, which is expected to eventually reach 1.5GW, making it the largest solar park in the world. Scatec Solar, KLP Norfund (a co-investment vehicle funded by Norwegian development agency Norfund and mutual insurance company KLP) and the Africa50 infrastructure fund signed 25-year power purchase agreements in April 2017 for six 65MW projects, which are expected to produce 870GWh/yr.

Issue 151 - 28 November 2008

Tullow well hits oil and gas


Tullow Oil’s Ebony-1 exploration well in the Shallow Water Tano licence has intersected two hydrocarbon bearing intervalsin Late Cretaceous turbidite sands. Ebony-1 spudded on 22 October and reached a total depth of 2,640 metres. The well lies in the south-west part of the Shallow Water Tano block in 86 metres of water and is the second commitment well in thelicence. The first well, 1N-3X, was plugged and abandoned last year. Logging and sampling operations confirmed a four-metre oil bearing interval at 2,053 metres and a two metre high-pressure gas-condensate interval at 2,570 metres.

Issue 270 - 30 January 2014

ReneSola South Africa launched


Solar photovoltaic products manufacturer ReneSola Ltd announced on 23 January the launch of ReneSola South Africa. The company will operate a sales and marketing office in Cape Town. “South Africa has shown tremendous potential for utility scale, commercial and residential solar PV projects,” said ReneSola South Africa general manager Qasim Abrahams. “We see particular marketing opportunities for ReneSola’s solar modules, inverters, and storage solutions, as well as LED lighting. Furthermore, South Africa is an ideal gateway for expanding ReneSola’s business into emerging markets like Ghana, Rwanda, Namibia, Kenya and others across the continent that are pursuing clean energy solutions to their critical energy needs.”


The Nile Basin Initiative (NBI) is seeking a hydropower engineer to act as project manager for the regional Rusumo Falls project on the Kagera River. The scheme’s projected 80MW output will be shared between Burundi, Rwanda and Tanzania, which will establish a special purpose vehicle to oversee implementation and operation.

Rwanda | Tanzania | Burundi

The focus of upstream activity in the Mediterranean has shifted from the established hydrocarbons-rich zones of North Africa to the coast of the Levant and now increasingly to parts of the Adriatic, impelled both by violence and instability in Libya and also the opening up of opportunities in these new areas. Driven by the pressures of economic austerity in the aftermath of the Euro crisis, Greece and Italy have turned back to oil and gas licensing. Greece recently launched an ‘open door’ licensing programme, and Italy has also licensed new areas after many years during which progress was effectively frozen.

Egypt | Libya | Algeria | Morocco | Tunisia
Issue 223 - 19 January 2012

Alstom loses out over Azito


South Korea’s Hyundai, in association with US turbine supplier General Electric, has taken the main engineering, procurement and construction contract for UK-based Globeleq Generation’s 288MW expansion of the Azito power plant near Abidjan

Côte d'Ivoire