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The Manitoba Hydro International-led project implementation unit at the Liberia Electricity Corporation has begun prequalification for an operation, maintenance and training contract for the 88MW Mount Coffee hydroelectric plant. Applications were invited in June 2014, but the Ebola crisis halted work at the site between August 2014, eight months into construction, and March this year. According to the revised schedule, commissioning of the first turbine is expected in December 2016.“It was decided to restart the prequalification process because the funding organisations wanted to attract a greater number of firms than was the case in the first round of the process,” project director William Hakin told African Energy.

Liberia
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The Commission de Régulation de l’Electricité et du Gaz (Creg) has awarded only one of seven solar PV projects tendered in June 2018. The 50MW project in Diffel, Biskra region, was awarded to the Power Generation consortium, which is majority owned by Algerian manufacturer Condor. The Ministry of Energy approved two tenders for the deployment of 200MW of solar PV capacity in June 2018.

Algeria
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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
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The 10MW Soroti solar plant was formally inaugurated on 12 December. The $19m project was developed under the Global Energy Transfer Feed in Tariff (GET FiT) scheme, a dedicated support scheme for renewable energy projects managed by Germany’s KfW Development Bank in partnership with Uganda’s Electricity Regulatory Agency and funded by the European Union and the governments of Norway, Germany and the United Kingdom.

Uganda
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The slow demise of Jacob Zuma’s presidency has coincided with a change of leadership and change of direction at failing national utility Eskom. Advertisements for the position of chief executive published in the South African press on 11 February call on the candidate to “develop and implement a vision and strategic direction to meet evolving energy markets and technologies” and require a “solid track record in leading and managing significant change in a complex organisation with at least 20,000 employees”

South Africa
Issue 331 - 04 October 2016

Namibia: Arandis solar PPA signed

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OLC Arandis Solar Energy signed a 25-year power purchase agreement on 19 September with the Erongo Regional Electricity Distributor. A tender for a 3MW solar photovoltaic plant at Arandis was awarded in February to Germany’s Cronimet Mining Power Solutions and its Namibian partner O&L Energy. Ground-breaking for the N$80m ($6m) solar plant will take place in November, with operations expected to start by April 2017. Cronimet was engineering, procurement and construction contractor for the 4.5MW Omburu solar plant, which started operation in 2015.

Namibia
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 United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Russia are co-funding a $4m programme to improve access to water and power in southern Madagascar. Projects will include four solar power plants of up to 100kWp each, 2,000 solar PV kits for the most remote locations, plus drinking water and agricultural infrastructure.

Madagascar
Issue 341 - 02 March 2017

DR Congo: Fears over Inga output

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Société Nationale d’Electricité (Snel) chief executive Eric Mbala Musanda has expressed concern about low water levels in the Congo River, warning that dry season power supply from the Inga dam will be affected unless it rains heavily in the next two months. Mbala told a news conference in Kinshasa in early February that the water level at Inga was unusually low, below 150 metres above sea level. He warned of lower power output during the dry season between June and September because there would not be enough water to allow the turbines to operate.

DR Congo
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Mali’s rural electrification agency, Agence Malienne pour le Développement de l’Energie Domestique et l’Électrification Rurale, has extended bidding to 29 November for the construction of two solar PV plants at Saye and Sarro in the Ségou region. Each of the plants is expected to have a unitary power of 1.3MWp with a vanadium redox battery energy storage system of 1.5MW-2MWh.

Mali
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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
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UK-based off-grid utility BBOXX announced on 7 June that it has signed an agreement with the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) that will see the company provide power to 2.5m people. BBOXX began operations alongside energy system supplier Victron Energy in Goma, on the border with Rwanda, earlier this year and will expand its operations in the city, as well as Bukavu at the southern end of Lake Kivu and the capital Kinshasa, where it has partnered with Orange Energie.

DR Congo
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President Xi Jingping’s call for China-Africa trade to exceed $400bn by 2020, with infrastructure investment a priority in driving that exponential increase, is a realistic target as ever more Chinese companies explore the continent’s markets. China Inc made a spectacular return to African business in the last decade, with bilateral trade rising from $10bn in 2000 to $210bn in 2013 – an increase many times greater than even optimists in the Beijing government had planned. Officials and company executives in Beijing often comment that things have not always gone as smoothly for China Inc as envious business rivals might think.

Subscriber

Lake Turkana Wind Power Ltd and the Kenyan government signed a letter of support on 28 February committing the government to the 300MW project and allowing it to move to the final phase of financing. 
The letter of support is designed to bypass a legal framework preventing the government from providing guarantees directly to the private sector. Over the medium term, the government intends to engage the private sector via public private partnerships (PPPs).

Kenya
Issue 381 - 22 November 2018

Kenya: AfDB loan for Thwake dam

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The African Development Bank on 14 November approved a loan package worth €235m ($273m) for the multipurpose Thwake dam. The project will help regulate the Athi River, providing water for households, irrigation and industry as well as a 23MW hydroelectric plant.

Kenya