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The Ethiopian government has announced ambitious plans to expand its generation capacity to 37,000MW by 2037 from 2,300MW now, to meet growing domestic demand and supply the region. Ethiopia already exports 60MW to Djibouti and 100MW to Sudan, and is constructing a 500kV interconnection with Kenya, capable of exporting 2,000MW. However, under the new programme, the government aims to export 4,000MW to nine countries in the region, potentially expanding its network of clients to the Southern African Power Pool and countries in North Africa. Aimed at turning Ethiopia into a middle-income country by 2023, the Growth and Transformation Plan seeks to double access rates, increasing the number of Ethiopians connected to the grid to 4m and expanding electricity services to 75% of towns and villages.

Ethiopia
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Energie du Mali (EDM) has invited expressions of interest from consultants by 14 May to carry out technical, economic, financial, environmental and social feasibility studies as well as elaboration of tender documents for the construction of two solar PV power plants in Kambila and Safo totalling 90MWp. The consultancy services are to be financed from French Development Agency (AFD) funding for construction of the northern section of the 225kV loop around Bamako.

Mali
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Société Nationale d’Electricité du Burkina (Sonabel) has extended the deadline for bids for the turnkey construction of two solar PV projects totalling 30MW to 29 April from the original date of 28 February. Bids are sought for the construction of a 20MW plant near Koudougou in Boulkiemdé province in the Centre-Ouest region (lot 1) and a 10MW facility in the city of Kaya, the capital of the province of Sanmatenga in the Centre-Nord region (lot 2), as well as their connection to the national grid.

Burkina Faso
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The 19.5MW Liouesso dam in the Sangha province of northern Congo was formally inaugurated on 29 May by President Denis Sassou-Nguesso. The Chinese-financed dam was built by China Gezhouba Group, which started work in 2012, while the transmission infrastructure has been built by China Machinery Engineering Corporation. It will supply power to the towns of Ouesso, Pokola and Mokéko, significantly improving supply in the province, where Société Nationale d’Electricité’s supply was previously limited to a 3MW diesel plant in the regional capital, Ouesso.

Congo Brazzaville
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Independent power producer Diaz Wind Power, a subsidiary of United Africa Group (UAG), has secured the land for a 44MW wind farm at Lüderitz in Namibia’s south-western Karas region. A land lease agreement was signed with the Ministry of Environment and Tourism in late December paving the way for the construction of the project, UAG chair Martha Namundjebo-Tilahun announced on Twitter. The Namibian newspaper said the wind farm would cost an estimated N$1.5bn ($107.4m).

Namibia
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Liberia has won $50m of funding from the Climate Investment Funds for its Scaling-up Renewable Energy Programme (SREP) investment plan. The programme aims to improve access to power in rural areas through off-grid electricity schemes based on small hydro, solar, biomass, and hybrid systems. The investment plan has been organised into a single programme in order to lower costs and address capacity constraints.

Liberia
Issue 257 - 28 June 2013

New REIPPP contracts awarded

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Google’s equity investment in the 96MW Jasper solar PV project affirms the international prominence of South Africa’s renewable energy independent power producer procurement (REIPPP) programme, even though exchange rate risk and the cost of financing might pose challenges down the road. Jasper is a REIPPP2 project which closed on 30 May. It is being developed by US power developer SolarReserve, black economic empowerment company Kensani Group and South African renewable power developer Intikon Energy. The consortium was awarded the African Renewables Deal of the Year award by Project Finance International magazine in 2012.

South Africa
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The Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Electricity has contracted the state-owned Ethiopian Construction Design & Supervision Works Corporation to prepare feasibility studies and the design for the 150MW Wabi hydropower project in Welkite in the Gurage Zone of the Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples Region. Under the terms of the 22.3m birr ($810, 320) contract signed in early May, the studies are to be completed in 18 months.

Ethiopia
Issue 355 - 12 October 2017

Egypt: ICD backs solar FiT project

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The Jeddah-based Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD) has joined the list of multilateral development finance institutions backing Egypt’s solar feed-in tariff (FiT) programme. On 28 September, it announced its support for a 50MW project being developed by Saudi Arabia’s Alfanar Group. This is not the first Egyptian solar FiT project that ICD has been involved with.

Egypt
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Construction officially got under way on 17 March at the $19m 10MW Soroti solar photovoltaic (PV) project in eastern Uganda. The project was selected through the Global Energy Transfer Feed-in Tariffs (GET FiT) scheme in December 2014, bidding a tariff of 16.38c/kWh over the course of the 20-year power purchase agreement. Commercial operations are expected in July.

Uganda
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Rural electrification agency Agence Malienne pour le Développement de l’Energie Domestique et l’Electrification Rurale (Amader) seeks bids by 24 July for the supply, installation and commissioning of solar photovoltaic-diesel hybrid systems and associated low-voltage networks in ten villages. The tender has been split into three lots: lot 1 for Zantiebougou, Finkolo-Ganadougou and Tabacoro; lot 2 for Bladié, Massigui and Bancoumana; and lot 3 for Manankoro, Sikorole, Bougoula and Kébila.

Mali
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Sinohydro has given Alstom a contract worth about €58m ($77m) to provide electro-mechanical equipment and technical services for the 600MW Karuma hydropower project on the Victoria Nile. The French engineering giant said on 27 February that Alstom Hydro China would supply, install, test and commission six 100MW Francis turbine-generator sets and related equipment, and provide site services. The run-of-river project, which is to be located in the districts of Kiryadongo and Oyam, 15km downstream of the Karuma Falls in northern Uganda, is being developed by Sinohydro under an engineering, procurement and construction contract signed in June 2013.

Uganda
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Swiss engineering consultancy Stucky has said that the Inga I and II dams show “permanent deformations” and that it is studying the cause.State power utility Société Nationale d’Electricité du Congo (Snel) gave Stucky a contract in 2012 to investigate the causes of permanent deformations in the dams and powerhouses that had been observed since construction. The contract is funded by the World Bank, and work is scheduled to be carried out from 2013 to 2016.

DR Congo
Issue 338 - 19 January 2017

Kenya: Sefa backs small hydro scheme

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The African Development Bank (AfDB)-managed Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (Sefa) has approved a $992,000 grant for a 7.8MW hydropower project on the Mutonga River in Meru County. The project is based on standard run-of-river technology, with a shareholding structure where the Mutunguru community in central Kenya will receive a fixed small share of profits. The Sefa grant to Mutunguru Hydroelectric Company Limited will help finance legal support for setting up community arrangements, financial advisory, support to lenders’ due diligence, support to environmental and social impact assessments, and institutional and management capacity building.

Kenya
Issue 399 - 13 September 2019

Kenya: MoU for wind/solar hybrid scheme

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The Kenya Investment Authority (KenInvest) and Meru County government signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on 29 August with Australia’s Windlab and Japan’s Eurus Energy for the development of an 80MW hybrid wind, solar PV and battery power plant. The agreement was signed at the 7th Tokyo International Conference on African Development (Ticad). Windlab has been working with Meru County for some time, signing a joint development agreement in 2016 for 166MW of renewable power in phases.

Kenya