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Issue 238 - 07 September 2012

Nigeria: Solar plant for Kaduna State

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Kaduna State governor Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Germany’s Helios Energy on a 30MW solar power plant.

Nigeria
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The council of ministers on 12 May gave initial backing to preliminary assessments of a 30MW solar PV project in Grand Bara and 40MW biomass project in Damerjog. Engie is developing the Grand Bara solar project on an unsolicited basis, having signed a memorandum of understanding with the government for the project in May 2019. The cabinet approved the conclusions of a preliminary evaluation of the project, saying that it would reduce reliance on imported power while creating jobs and contributing to economic and social development.

Djibouti
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The Ministry of Energy has approved permits for two small hydropower plants being developed by France’s Voltalia in the Middle Atlas region. The permits for the unnamed 9.8MW and 7.2MW projects follow technical approvals issued by the Office National de l’Electricité et de l’Eau Potable for the connection of the plants to the national grid.

Morocco
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Canadian-Saudi joint venture SkyPower FAS Energy has signed agreements with the federal and Delta State governments which it says will lead to the development of 3,000MW of utility-scale solar photovoltaic projects over the next five years at a cost of $5bn. The developer is a joint venture set up in August 2013 between Toronto-based SkyPower Global and Saudi renewables developer FAS Energy, a subsidiary of the Fawaz Alhokair Group conglomerate. The agreements were signed in Abuja during the World Economic Forum on Africa, along with a Foreign Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement between the Canadian and Nigerian governments, which was signed by Nigerian trade and investment minister Olusegun Olutoyin Aganga and Canadian international development minister Christian Paradis.

Nigeria
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An initiative begun earlier this year to streamline the renewable energy independent power producers procurement (REIPPP) programme is causing concern among developers, who fear the new system might prejudice projects in which large sums of money have already been invested. Renewable Energy Development Zones (REDZ) were conceived following a request from the Department of Energy (DoE) that the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) find a way to speed up the lengthy and costly process of obtaining environmental authorisation for renewable power projects, according to Rainer Nowak, director at South African law firm Webber Wentzel and board member of the South African Photovoltaic Industry Association (Sapvia).

South Africa
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An attempt to push through the long-delayed signing of key project agreements for outstanding renewable energy independent power producer (IPP) projects selected through the Department of Energy’s renewable energy IPP procurement (REIPPP) programme on 13 March has been scuppered at the last minute by an attempted court interdict. The applicants – the National Union of Metal Workers of South Africa (Numsa) and a non-governmental organisation linked to former president Jacob Zuma, Transformation RSA – argue that the programme would lead to job losses among coal miners and that the power is not needed because there is a supply surplus.

South Africa
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The 4.5MW Stortemelk hydroelectric power plant has begun commercial operations on the Ash River in Free State. The run-of-river project was developed by Renewable Energy Holdings (REH) Project Development – formerly NuPlanet Project Development – and is also owned by Mertech Group and 30% by broad-based black economic empowerment company Vapotouch. Stortemelk was selected as a preferred bidder in the second round of the renewable energy independent power producer procurement programme and is REH’s third small hydropower project in the country after 3MW Sol Plaatje, commissioned in 2009, and 4MW Merino, commissioned in 2010.

South Africa
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The Ministry of Health is seeking bids for solar systems for health centres in 25 districts under a project funded by the World Bank Group’s International Development Association for the supply, installation, commissioning and maintenance of 100W-1,280W solar photovoltaic systems in 373 health centres through its Energy for Rural Transformation Project III. Bidding will be in three lots. Lot I includes 357 solar systems for 155 health centres in Kapchorwa, Kaliro, Kamuli, Buyende, Kween, Manafwa, Namutumba, Namayingo, Busia and Butaleja districts. Lot II is for 358 systems for 104 centres in Hoima, Kiboga, Kyankwanzi, Nakasongola, Alebtong, Lira and Otuke districts.

Uganda
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Oriental Renewable Solutions has reached an agreement with Denham Capital’s GreenWish Partners to co-develop a 50MW solar power project in Jigawa State in a 50:50 equity partnership.

Nigeria
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The Ministry of Infrastructure, Natural Resources and Environment has given Portugal’s Aqualogus Engenharia e Ambiente a contract worth $387,512 to undertake feasibility studies for mini-hydropower plants. The Lisbon-based consultancy beat off competition from Switzerland’s Stucky, France’s Hydreole and a joint venture of Canada’s Hatch and COBA for the 11-month contract, according to a notice published on the African Development Bank (AfDB) website on 12 May.

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The Agence Française de Développement (AFD) invites bids by 2 January from consultants to help state power producer Prodel prepare the rehabilitation of the Biopio hydropower plant and dam on the Catumbela River in the central province of Benguela. The hydropower plant, which was commissioned in 1957 with four units of 3.8MW, has an estimated installed capacity of 14.4MW. It is currently in an advanced state of disrepair, hindering its operation as well as raising serious safety concerns, according to the tender notice.

Angola
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Chinese solar products manufacturer JA Solar Holdings Company and SA solar farm construction company Powerway PV have formed a joint venture to establish a solar module manufacturing facility in Port Elizabeth. The facility, in the Coega Industrial Development Zone, will supply customers in South Africa and the southern African region with solar modules assembled from JA Solar’s high-efficiency cells. Production is scheduled to begin in Q2 2014, with the plant targeted to reach an initial annualised capacity of 150MW. The partners have the option to expand production capacity to 600MW to meet growth in regional demand.

Subscriber

Italian renewable energy developer Building Energy has confirmed that it has been selected as a preferred bidder for the 140MW Roggeveld wind farm on the border between the Northern and Western Cape provinces, and the 4.7MW Kruisvallei hydroelectric project in Free State Province as part of the renewable energy independent power producer procurement (REIPPP) programme. Roggeveld is expected to produce 590GWh/yr, while Kruisvallei will produce 36GWh/yr. The company is developing two other projects in South Africa: the 81MWp Kathu solar photovoltaic (PV) power plant and 16.5MWe Mkuze biomass project, which has experienced some trouble with land claims made against shareholder and biomass supplier the Charl Senekal Suiker Trust.

South Africa
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The World Bank Group (WBG) board of directors on 23 May approved guarantees worth up to $200m for renewable energy independent power producer (IPP) projects in Ethiopia under the International Development Association’s Renewable Energy Guarantees Programme (Regrep). The programme will be implemented in phases until end-2025, starting with a $10m guarantee for the $120m 100MW Metehara solar photovoltaic (PV) project and followed by three further phases. The guarantee programme could eventually support projects worth more than $1.5bn, adding more than 1GW of wind and solar PV capacity to the grid.

Ethiopia
Free

US President Barack Obama was expected to make headline-grabbing announcements on the Tanzanian phase of his first extended trip to Africa, which started on 26 June. Of more long-term consequence is the great debate that rumbles on over how Tanzania should use its offshore reserves, now estimated at 150tcf of natural gas. International oil companies (IOCs), other potential investors and their advisers are expressing great frustration at the slow pace of decision-making, while Tanzanian policymakers say more time is needed to make momentous decisions for the economy and society.

Tanzania