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The deadline for financial close has been pushed back and the Risk Mitigation Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme plants will not now be operational until March 2023, seven months later than previously planned, as questions mount about the rationale for what is meant to be a fast-track procurement programme, writes Dan Marks

South Africa
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Egyptian Electric Utility and Consumer Protection Regulatory Agency (EgyptERA) is growing into the role envisaged for the power sector regulator in the landmark 2015 Electricity Law. The electricity industry regulator has been busy with the issuing and renewal of generation and distribution licences to private businesses, which are opening significant niches in Egypt’s huge energy market – chipping away at the huge role still played by state-owned enterprises gathered under the Egyptian Electricity Holding Company (EEHC) umbrella. EgyptERA has recently awarded a licence to private sector renewables developer Karm Solar to run a mini-grid supplying resorts and hotels in the Red Sea resort of Marsa Alam. It has also renewed licences for Emac Utilities and Services’ diesel-fired scheme at Port Ghalib and for industrial park operator Al-Tajamouat Investment Egypt – Taqa Power’s Global Power Company subsidiary, which has industrial and tourism-related clients, and real estate developer Amer Group.

Egypt
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Abdelhamid Al-Dabaiba’s government has granted permission for the construction of two highly ambitious power generation projects. Cork-based AG Energy, with links to the former Irish Taoiseach Bertie Ahern, is in line to build what could be Libya’s first private sector solar PV plant. Qatar-based Urbacon Trading and Construction (UCC) has been authorised to build a large gas-fired plant in Zliten. Neither company has built power plants in Libya until now, but UCC has teamed up with Germany’s Siemens Energy, Tripoli-based Acesco Consulting Engineering and Services and Philadelphia-based Hill International, who bring substantial experience in major construction projects in the country, while AG has been promoting projects in Libya and the wider region for a decade.

Libya
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Political and security conditions may be acutely difficult in the G5 Sahel countries, but a new era beckons for solar projects in the region, symbolised by AfDB approval of a plan to develop 500MW of PV capacity. Sector insiders believe that short-term problems such as rising risk premiums may be offset by the positive medium-to-long-term prospects for the rollout of solar PV across the Sahel, writes Marc Howard

Mauritania | Niger | Chad | Burkina Faso | Senegal | Mali
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The state Fiduciary Agency for Project Administration (AFAP) has issued a request for proposals (RFP) for design and building works for the rehabilitation and expansion, from 2.2MW to 3.2MW, of the Contador hydroelectric power (HEP) plant.

São Tomé & Príncipe
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State-owned Development Bank of Namibia has signed an agreement to fund construction of the Rosh Pinah Solar Park that will supply 5.4MW for zinc and lead miner Rosh Pinah Zinc Corporation in south-western Namibia.

Namibia
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Investec Property has announced plans for a 5.25MW rooftop solar PV project in Corbunia Mall, Durban, which it has dubbed the continent’s largest rooftop solar project.

South Africa
Subscriber

Norway’s Scatec ASA now has a choice of green hydrogen (GH2) projects in Egypt. Just months after signing pioneering agreement with fertilizer producer Fertiglobe, Scatec has signed up for a multi-gigawatt export-driven scheme in the Suez Canal Economic Zone, alongside The Sovereign Fund of Egypt, Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company (EETC) and New and Renewable Energy Authority (NREA). Abu Qir Fertilizers and Chemical Industries – now run by former Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC) chairman Abed Ezz El Regal – is also studying a GH2 and ammonia project.

Egypt
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Sedibelo Platinum Mines (SPM) is negotiating a 75MW renewable energy (RE) programme for its mines, which includes securing 40MW of solar and wind power from sites in Limpopo and Western Cape via a wheeling arrangement.

South Africa
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Scatec has refinanced three solar PV projects from early rounds of South Africa’s renewable energy independent power producer procurement programme (REIPPP), sharing profits from the transaction 50/50 with the government to reduce tariffs.

South Africa
Subscriber

SBEE’s Defissol solar PV plant is expected to start commercial operations in June and will be the country’s first utility-scale solar plant to be commissioned, a decade after plans to develop such projects were first announced. 

Benin
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Project bulletin

Kenya Electricity Generating Company (KenGen) has announced that  it has finished construction work on the 83MW Olkaria I unit VI and will now begin reliability tests.

Kenya
Subscriber

Production testing has started at four recently-drilled geothermal wells at Aluto-Langano, south of Addis Ababa, power utility Ethiopian Electric Power (EEP) has said. The testing is scheduled to take three months.

Ethiopia
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Denmark’s Vestas Wind Systems has announced that Google will acquire its 12.5% stake in Lake Turkana Wind Power scheme on completion of the project in 2017. The share purchase agreement announced in Washington during US secretary of state John Kerry’s Climate and Clean Energy Investment Forum builds on a long-standing relationship between Google and Vestas, which also includes the 270MW Alta Wind Energy Centre in southern California and the powering of a Google data centre in Finland.

Kenya
Subscriber

Debt finance has been lined up to cover 75% of the cost of a planned geothermal exploration programme by renewable energy company Akiira Geothermal at the Naivasha steam fields in Akiira Valley.

Kenya