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The African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved a $30m investment in the Facility for Energy Inclusion Off-Grid Energy Access Fund (FEI Ogef), which will provide debt finance for the off-grid power sector. Investments have also been approved by Calvert Impact Capital (CIC, $10m), the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and €6m ($7m) from the Nordic Development Fund (NDF), which also agreed a €0.5m grant for technical assistance. FEI Ogef comes as rapidly expanding off-grid solar companies are looking at options for raising larger tranches of debt funding.

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Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation (EEPCo) has signed a $1.4bn agreement with China Electric Power Equipment and Technology Company (CET), part of the State Grid Corporation of China, to build a 619km double-circuit 500kV AC transmission line to connect the 6,000MW Grand Renaissance dam to the grid. The project is expected to be implemented in stages between 2014 and 2016. The work will also include construction of a 98km double-circuit AC transmission line and two new 500kV substations as well as expanding three 400kV substations.

South Sudan | Sudan | Ethiopia
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Four 80kW solar PV-diesel mini-grids in Beleko Soba, Fakola, Dogoni and Diena will be commissioned within months after building work was completed, the Netherlands’ Foundation Rural Energy Services (FRES) told African Energy. The projects are waiting for the end of travel restrictions so specialist teams can commission the plants. Beleko Soba and Fakola are being developed by Solar23 and Dogoni and Diena by JGH.

Mali
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Tribal rights NGO Survival International has lodged a complaint with the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) against Italian company Salini Impregilo, which is building the 1,870MW Gilgel Gibe III dam on the Omo River in Ethiopia. The complaint was filed under the 2011 OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, to which Salini is a signatory.

Ethiopia
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Construction of the 130MW Kandadji hydropower project on the Niger River was officially launched on 26 March at a ceremony presided over by President Mahamadou Issoufou. The hydropower plant is being built by China Gezhouba Group Company in tandem with a 26-metre-high, 8.7km-long combined concrete and earthfill dam, on behalf of the High Commission for the Development of the Niger Valley (HCAVN) as part of the Kandadji Ecosystems Regeneration and Niger Valley Development Programme.

Niger
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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
Issue 234 - 29 June 2012

AfDB backs geothermal plans

Subscriber

A team from the African Development Bank (AfDB) visited Djibouti in mid-June to discuss geothermal development plans. The AfDB has offered to plug any gap in existing donor funding.

Djibouti
Issue 274 - 28 March 2014

Renewables-focused fund launched

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A new fund focusing on renewable energy in sub-Saharan Africa outside South Africa was launched on 12 March in Nairobi. The African Renewable Energy Fund (Aref) reached its first close with $100m of capital committed. Of this, the African Development Bank (AfDB) is providing $25m from its balance sheet, $25m from its Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (Sefa) and $4.5m from the Global Environment Facility. Aref has been developed by the African Biofuel and Renewable Energy Company (Abrec) and the AfDB for over two years, with the AfDB and Sefa the lead sponsors.

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Energie Solaire Prosolia announced on 12 November that it had signed an agreement with the country’s Ministry of Energy to develop three solar parks with combined generation capacity of 13MW. The company, a Senegal-based subsidiary of Spain’s Prosolia Energy, will now begin negotiations with state utility Société National d’Electricité du Sénégal over a 20-year power purchase agreement.

Senegal
Issue 293 - 29 January 2015

Somalia: Power master plan

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The World Bank is seeking expressions of interest from consultants to develop a power master plan study for Somalia, and the autonomous territories of Puntland and Somaliland. The work is funded with a grant from the Africa Renewable Energy Access trust fund. The project involves producing regionally based power master plans covering Somalia, Puntland and Somaliland, with work to take up to 24 months. This will include mapping the existing electricity sector in the three territories, to establish the number of customers.

Somalia
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It may be symbolic that, beyond the state-run grid, Tanzania provides an enticing opportunity for innovative investors to build businesses in marginalised communities with aspirations to move beyond energy poverty. Tanzania has been a pioneer in the sub-Saharan off-grid revolution, where mini-grid operator Jumeme and other innovators have been able to build their businesses. Germany’s Redavia last year began operating its first two mini-grids, supported by InfraCo Africa.

Tanzania
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South African utility Eskom has signed a five-year deal to supply 200MW to Namibia Power Corporation (NamPower). Eskom told African Energy the 200MW would be supplied on a firm basis, with additional capacity supplied as required a day ahead. South Africa has traditionally been a major exporter of power to Namibia and, although the latter is expected to boost its generation with 70MW of solar and wind power by mid-2017, demand still vastly outstrips supply.

Namibia
Issue 331 - 04 October 2016

USTDA announces ten new agreements

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The US Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) announced ten new financing agreements for power projects with a combined value of $9m at the US-Africa Business Forum held in New York on 21 September. USTDA earmarked six grants worth $4.9m for projects in Kenya, a grant and two direct USTDA contracts worth $3.1m in South Africa, and a grant worth $856,386 in Sierra Leone. The agency has been increasing its support to power projects in the early stages of development in Africa with a series of grant rounds, the most recent of which closed on 26 September.

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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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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