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With its energy loan book already at record levels, the African Development Bank has granted $68m for the Inga Site Development and Electricity Access Support Project. This aims to bring the 4,800MW Inga 3 project to bankability with professional services, capacity building to allow for coherent decisions about developers, and creation of a good environment for public/private partnerships. The bank has identified shortfalls in project preparation as a key challenge to completing privately financed infrastructure schemes, even in states less fragile than Democratic Republic of Congo.

DR Congo
Issue 380 - 08 November 2018

Tanzania: Tender chaos

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Tanzania Electric Supply Company Ltd (Tanesco) has cancelled and then reissued three recently announced tenders for large-scale solar, wind and coal as Tanzania continues to bewilder investors. The tenders are part of government efforts to revive the power sector in time for elections in 2020 following a period of stagnation under the administration of President John Magufuli. Bids are now due by 7 December.Tanesco said the tenders had been cancelled due to “unavoidable circumstances”.

Tanzania
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Sonelgaz’s president tells African Energy that ‘our differences with Dii have been resolved’ as Algeria reassesses its attitude to European mega-schemes, writes Selwa Calderbank in Brussels

Algeria
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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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President Paul Biya on 15 June ceremonially launched construction of the 200MW Memve’ele dam on the Ntem River.

Cameroon
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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
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The Mount Coffee hydroelectric power plant rehabilitation project is rushing to arrange compensation for around 500 people living along the two transmission lines that will take power from the plant to Monrovia. The issue needs to be resolved in time for the transmission lines to begin evacuating power when the first unit is connected to the grid, which is expected in December. Mount Coffee is expected to generate 88MW on completion, which is scheduled for August 2017.

Liberia
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Full notice to proceed was given on 23 January to contractors at the Mubuga solar PV project in Gitega province. The plant is Burundi’s first IPP to reach this point and will play an important role in reducing reliance on thermal power and providing power during the dry season. Mubuga has been in development by Gigawatt Global Coöperatief for five years alongside a range of international financial institutions. Commercial operation is expected by year-end.

Burundi
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
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New Eskom interim CEO Brian Molefe has said that his short and medium term aims were to end load shedding and ensure efficiency and security of coal power supply, but that “in the medium to long term [our priority is] to increase alternative sources of energy, to systematically reduce our reliance on coal over a period of time”. His statement, taken with energy minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson’s announcement of “expanded and accelerated” independent power producer (IPP) procurement programmes, is widely viewed as signalling government recognition that Eskom will not provide new generation capacity within a timeframe or at a cost that can be justified in light of the success of the renewable energy IPP procurement (REIPPP) programme.

South Africa
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
Issue 368 - 18 May 2018

Tunisia: Tender for 500MW of solar

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The Ministry of Energy, Mines and Renewable Energy is seeking prequalification bids from developers for five solar photovoltaic (PV) projects totalling 500MW. The plants will be developed on a build-own-operate concession basis. According to the prequalification notice published on 11 May, the five projects are: Project A of about 50MWp in Tozeur governorate; Project B of about 50MWp in Sidi Bouzid; Project C of about 100MWp in Kairouan; Project D of about 100MWp in Gafsa; Project E of about 200MWp at Borj Bourguiba in Tataouine governorate.

Tunisia
Issue 317 - 11 February 2016

Guinea: CWE signs Souapiti contract

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China International Water & Electric Corporation (CWE) announced on 2 February the signing of an engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract with the Ministry of Energy and Water Resources and Ministry of Finance for the 450MW Souapiti dam and hydropower plant on the Konkoure River. The $1.38bn contract is expected to be completed in 58 months and will involve the construction of a roller-compacted concrete dam with a maximum height of 116.5 metres and length of 1,148 metres, as well as a power plant with a design installed capacity of 450MW and average annual output of 1.9TWh.

Guinea
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The US Power Africa initiative’s Beyond the Grid programme on 20 June closed Round II of its Off-Grid Energy Challenge – a General Electric, US Agency for International Development and US African Development Foundation initiative, offering 18 $1.8m grants to developers of off-grid and small-scale renewables projects in each of the six Power Africa countries. Winners will be announced in mid-August. Beyond the Grid aims to facilitate investment in off-grid and small-scale power projects, and is specifically targeted at providing 20m new connections for households and businesses over a five-year period; it is partnering 27 companies that have committed to investing $1bn into off-grid and small-scale solutions.

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China’s ZTE Corporation has completed the feasibility study for Zimbabwe Power Company’s (ZPC) Insukamini solar project, and is finalising an application for a concessional loan from the Export-Import Bank of China, the Herald reported. ZPC and ZTE signed a contract for the construction of the 100MW Insukamini solar project in October 2015. ZTE said at the time that it planned to set up a solar equipment manufacturing facility in Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe