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Southern Africa leaders have made a joint appeal at COP27 for nearly $20bn from investors to complete electricity transmission interconnectors and fund new renewable energy projects, in part to increase energy capacity in the Southern African Power Pool (SAPP).

DR Congo | Angola | Namibia | Malawi | Zambia | Zimbabwe | Tanzania
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The British government, which remains COP president until November 2022 when Egypt takes over, is expected to take a more than usually active approach to climate change diplomacy over the next 12 months. One reason for this is that the United Kingdom has had an unusually long time to focus on the issue and it has an incentive to keep doing so.

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The European Investment Bank (EIB) has committed funds to double capacity at the Doraleh desalination plant near Djibouti City, develop a solar PV plant to meet the higher power demand and expand wastewater treatment plants at Doraleh, Balbala and Douda.

Djibouti
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Project bulletin

Barrick Gold has provided details of its plans to add solar PV capacity with battery energy storage at the Kibali gold mine, where its activities are now powered by off-grid hydroelectric power and diesel capacity. Kibali, Africa’s largest gold mine, is owned by Barrick in a joint venture with Johannesburg-headquartered AngloGold Ashanti and parastatal Société Miniére de Kilo-Moto (Sokimo).

DR Congo
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Malawi is looking to geothermal, wind and solar capacity to diversify its struggling grid and reduce over-reliance on hydroelectric and diesel-fired capacity, while additions of utility-scale battery capacity could also enable more on-grid solar. The government is also looking to tender for 100MW of gas turbine generation, although sources canvassed by African Energy were sceptical about that scheme’s viability – and about Malawi’s ability to deliver projects more generally, writes Marc Howard.

Malawi
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Some 63MW of Malawi’s 501MW of operational grid capacity is provided by expensive and heavily-emitting diesel plants, according to African Energy Live Data. These units are owned and operated by the parastatal Electricity Generation Company of Malawi (Egenco).

Malawi
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Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah El Sisi have pledged to renew efforts to resolve their dispute over the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (Gerd) during a meeting in Cairo. The two leaders said they would try to reach an agreement on the dam’s filling and operating procedures within four months.

Egypt | Sudan | Ethiopia
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President Cyril Ramaphosa’s administration has taken some initial steps to develop green hydrogen projects, but analysts and industry players say more support is needed from the government, development financiers, international technology partners and offtakers if the nascent industry is to fulfil its potential.

South Africa
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Zesco has signed a power purchase agreement with Nigerian company Africa Consolidated Services Group (ACSG) for new solar thermal capacity. It is the state-owned utility’s third major solar power deal this year, and a sign that Zambia is trying to reduce its dependence on hydroelectric power

Zambia
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Namibia Power Corporation (NamPower) has issued three open tenders for generation and transmission contracts, including a call for engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) bids to build the 70MWp Rosh Pinah solar PV project.

Namibia
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Financial close for Biovea’s 45MW Ayébo plant in Côte d’Ivoire could prove a milestone as potential investors investigate whether utility-scale biomass is bankable in countries with large agro-industries. Biomass has appeal – providing dispatchable baseload electricity while potentially sustaining a large number of jobs – but there have been false dawns before and hurdles remain for developers, not least sourcing sufficient feedstock, writes Marc Howard.

Côte d'Ivoire
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Africa has a largely early stage bioethanol industry – after an earlier phase of biofuels developments fell far short of expectations, due to problems over financing and concerns that commercial interests were pushing out vital food crops. ‘First generation’ feedstocks sourced from edible biomass were the subject of a longstanding ‘food versus fuel’ debate over land use.

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In another move to increase its woefully low level of electricity supply – and with it Eritrea’s attempted re-emergence from international isolation – the Ministry of Energy and Mines has requested bids for the design, supply and installation of a 30MW solar PV plant along with an associated storage facility of unspecified capacity.

Eritrea
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The World Bank Group’s International Finance Corporation (IFC) has agreed to provide up to $1m in funding to support the development of two run-of-the-river hydroelectric power (HEP) projects, which are being developed by Mauritius-based Tembo Power in the south of Burundi.

Burundi
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Australian Securities Exchange (ASX)-listed graphite miner and processor Syrah Resources has signed two new offtake agreements with American active anode material (AAM) processors for offtake from its Balama mine in Cabo Delgado province. Balama is the world’s largest facility outside China producing natural graphite, which is far less emitting than its synthesised counterpart. Major new demand from US-based buyers would mark a sea change in its marketing, as in 2022 China made up 64% of Syrah’s sales by revenue.

Mozambique