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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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Virunga Energy invites bids by 17 October for the supply of two 627-metre-long penstocks for the 12.4MW Lubero hydropower project in Ivingu, North Kivu province. The contract is financed by the ACP-EU partnership. Separate contracts will be tendered for construction of civil works including water intake, a head pond and a powerhouse to comprise two Pelton turbines as well as a 33kV and 400V distribution network.

DR Congo
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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.

Issue 410 - 27 February 2020

Kenya: No Turkana stake for Google

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Denmark’s Vestas Wind Systems is seeking a new buyer for its 12.5% stake in Lake Turkana Wind Power (LTWP) following cancellation of plans for Google to buy into the 310MW project. “Due to delays relating primarily to the transmission line, the Vestas agreement with Google was cancelled in 2019,” Bloomberg quoted Vestas spokesman Anders Riis as saying. “As Vestas’ strategy doesn’t include being a long-term wind park owner, we’re currently in commercial dialogue with potential buyers of our shares.”

Kenya
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The Johannesburg-based South African National Energy Research Institute (Saneri) has been awarded the rights to host the Southern African Regional Secretariat for the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership (REEEP).

South Africa
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There are signs that Algeria’s ambitious renewable energy programme is taking shape, with Sonelgaz Holding’s Société Algérienne de Production de l’Electricité (SPE) subsidiary announcing that seven international groups have been shortlisted to develop projects with the aim of installing initial capacity of 300MW by 2015 and 2,000MW by 2021.

Algeria
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Investec Bank Ltd and United Kingdom Climate Investments (UKCI) are investing R500m ($36.5m) each in a new renewable energy investment vehicle called Revego Africa Energy Ltd. The fund will be managed by Revego Fund Managers Ltd, a new majority black-owned fund manager which has Investec as the anchor investor. Revego aims to list on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange in H1 this year with a target valuation of R2bn.

South Africa
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Trouble at Lake Kariba goes well beyond record low levels and evidence of continued overuse of water for electricity generation. There have been warnings about the risk of catastrophic dam collapse as the plunge pool eats under the foundations of the dam and a €217.7m ($246m) project to reshape the plunge pool and refurbish the spillway expected to last for 60 months is being prepared. The project will be funded by the African Development Bank, EuropeAid, the Swedish International Development Co-operation Agency, the World Bank and the Zambezi River Authority.

Zambia
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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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A well-managed, environmentally friendly rubbish dump at Nkolfoulou, just outside Yaoundé, encapsulates the huge potential and daily frustrations of project development in Cameroon. Operator Hysacam, created in Douala in 1969, collects waste – 80% of it organic – from the capital to bury in its landfill site. Polluting methane would normally build up, but Hysacam has mobilised Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) credits and other support to install an efficient biogas collection system. So far so good, say Hysacam’s no-nonsense local management, as waste disposal trucks line up patiently to be weighed and discharge.

Cameroon
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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
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InfraCo Africa, part of the Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG), announced on 18 January that a shareholders’ agreement has been signed with Berkeley Energy for the 520MW Corbetti geothermal project. The agreement doubles InfraCo’s equity commitment to the project to $30m; $25m equity finance and $5m in standby equity, representing around 20% of the funding required to begin the drilling of up to six exploration wells this year and building a 10-20MW pilot plant in 2019.

Ethiopia
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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
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The World Bank Group’s International Finance Corporation Advisory is in preliminary discussions with Ethiopian Electric Power to be the lead transaction adviser for the second round of the Scaling Solar programme, which could procure up to 750MW of solar power, and for wind power procurement, potentially through a Scaling Wind initiative.

Ethiopia