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EDF Renewables announced on 25 November that it had entered into a strategic partnership with solar developer and supplier KarmSolar for the development of distributed solar in Egypt. EDF Renewables said it would inject capital to take a strategic equity stake in KarmSolar through a reserved capital increase.

Issue 306 - 08 August 2015

Uganda: Tenders for Achwa III hydro


Berkeley Energy, manager of the $200m Africa Renewable Energy Fund (Aref), has issued procurement notices for the electromechanical and civil works contracts for the 5MW-10MW Achwa III hydroelectric power project. Aref is 99% owner of Achwa, a cascade run-of-river project on the Achwa River, 50km north-east of Gulu in northern Uganda. The project includes a 12km, 33kV transmission line and around 10km of access road. The electromechanical and civil works contracts include design, manufacture, supply, transportation, installation and commissioning of turbines, associated works and spare parts.


US-owned Dutch developer Gigawatt Global on 19 July announced that a solar street lighting initiative had launched in Bujumbura, ahead of its commercial-scale solar plant starting up by end-2017. Solar street lights have been installed in the central bus station and nearby marketplace. “This project will enhance security as well as provide opportunities for economic development to the citizens of Bujumbura,” a Gigawatt statement quoted mayor Freddy Mbonimpa as saying.

Issue 345 - 05 May 2017

Nigeria: New solar schemes


Growing investor interest in Nigeria’s solar power sector was highlighted during April with the signing of agreements related to the development and financing of several planned utility-scale projects. InfraCo Africa announced on 20 April that it is to provide $1.65m to co-finance the development of a 50MWp project in the northern state of Kaduna. InfraCo, owned by the Private Infrastructure Development Group, said it had signed a convertible loan agreement totalling $1.25m with Access Quaint Solar Nigeria, the developer of the Abiba Solar project, a ground-mounted scheme at Manchok.

Issue 234 - 29 June 2012

GEF puts $43.7m towards renewables


The African Development Bank (AfDB) received $43.7m at the 42nd Council Meeting of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) in Washington on 5-7 June.


Kinangop Wind Park (KWP) – owned by Norway’s Norfund and the African Infrastructure Investment Fund II, managed by African Infrastructure Investment Managers – announced in February that development of its 60.8MW wind farm would “cease implementation” after nearly two years of delays due to persistent civil unrest ran down the funds available for the project. The pair had invested $66m in equity to cover project costs. In a statement, KWP said that local groups opposed to the project first caused construction to be halted in May 2014.


The Ethiopian Electric Utility (EEU) has invited sealed bids by 11 November for the design, supply, construction and commissioning of mini-grid solar PV projects in 25 rural towns and villages. The projects, which will entail the construction of solar power plants with back-up diesel generators and battery storage systems as well as operation and maintenance services for a period of three months, are to be financed by the African Development Bank.

Issue 313 - 04 December 2015

Tanzania: Mini-grid model


Jumeme Rural Power Supply Ltd has attracted considerable interest for its independent solar photovoltaic (PV) hybrid mini-grid project in rural Tanzania. Although its first mini-grids are only being rolled out this month – with a view to installing 28 by end-2017 – Jumeme has already been awarded the Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa’s ‘Power Transaction of the Year’ award for East Africa. Jumeme – owned by German developer Inensus, Austria’s Terra Project and Tanzania’s St Augustine University – has mobilised E9.7m in private equity and grants, and E6.7m of long-term debt to cover its initial E16.4m capital expenditure.

Issue 346 - 19 May 2017

Zimbabwe: Solar plans


The Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (Sefa), which is administrated by the African Development Bank (AfDB), has approved a $965,000 grant to Oxygen Energy to support the preparation of a bankable business case for the development of an off-grid solar photovoltaic rooftop project totalling 20MW on buildings owned and managed by Old Mutual Property Group Zimbabwe. The project aims to compensate for lapses in grid power and to provide reliable electricity to hundreds of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) that are already tenants at the Old Mutual premises.


Germany’s Voith GmbH has begun work modernising the 7.4MW Wanjii hydroelectric plant, the company announced on 5 March. Voith will replace the turbines, generators, control technology and electromechanical equipment. This is expected to increase output by around 20% as well as making maintenance easier for the plant owner KenGen and allowing the utility to regulate generation remotely. Work is expected to be completed in mid-2019. Wanjii currently comprises four horizontal Francis turbines and draws water from the Mathioya and Maragua rivers.


The Central Procurement Board of Namibia on behalf of NamPower is seeking bids by 31 January for an engineering, procurement and construction contractor for the 20MW Omburu solar PV power plant in the Erongo region. A non-compulsory pre-bid meeting and site visit will take place on 15 November. Contact: Procurement Management Unit, Central Procurement Board of Namibia, 1 Teinert Street, Mandume Park, Windhoek. Email: pr[email protected]; Tel: +264 61 447 700.


The Ministry of Water, Energy and Hydrocarbons is seeking private investors to participate in a two-stage tendering process for the selection of an independent power producer for the design, financing, construction, commissioning and operation of a grid-connected solar photovoltaic plant with an installed capacity of about 25MW(AC), associated with an energy storage device, to be located near Antananarivo.

Issue 418 - 26 June 2020

ARCH invests in Sun Exchange


Private equity firm ARCH Emerging Markets Partners Ltd has announced the second investment of its Africa Renewable Power Fund, into peer-to-peer PV solar leasing platform Sun Exchange. The investment follows acquisition of a stake in commercial and industrial (C&I) solar company CrossBoundary Energy in March. ARCH is also exploring investments across sub-Saharan Africa in IPP projects using renewable technologies.


Plans to generate electricity from landfill waste are finally taking off, with a pilot project in Casablanca’s Sidi Bernoussi district operational and Fes planning to generate up to 50MW, producing 30% of the city’s needs, within ten years.Rabat-based Ozone Environnement et Services (OES), which has contracts to collect household waste across Morocco, has signed an agreement with the state Société d’Investissement Energétique (SIE) to develop a MD47m ($5.5m) project in Fes. SIE will provide 25% of the financing, with the private developer finding the rest.


A flurry of announcements about renewable and other IPPs points to some momentum in the South African renewables process, but policy shifts remain a worry for potential developers.

South Africa