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Zimbabwe Energy Regulatory Authority (Zera) confirmed in early June that the beleaguered Zimbabwe Electricity Distribution Company (ZETDC) has applied for a tariff review for 2017, citing increases in the cost of power production. Zera acting chief executive Misheck Siyakatshana said a decision on the tariff review would have to wait until an audit of the utility’s operations and structures by Deloitte & Touche is completed. ZETDC is the transmission and distribution subsidiary of Zesa Holdings.

Zimbabwe
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Both Putting America First and Making America Great again were mentioned by US speakers at the Powering Africa Summit in Washington on 9-10 March. Congressman Ed Royce, who is chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and a central force behind the Electrify Africa Act alongside former Republican staffer Nilmini Rubin, now vice-president for investment at engineering services company Tetra Tech, said that Africa had “great potential” to be a trade partner and to create jobs in Africa and the United States.

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National Oil Corporation (NOC) chairman Mustafa Sanalla has pushed production of crude to 760,000 b/d, its highest level for nearly two and a half years. But while he is achieving results, his pragmatic vision for the development of a depoliticised oil sector has yet to gain support from the United Nations and the dominant international powers or from the Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli.

Libya
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US developer Symbion Power Tanzania Ltd on 13 March filed a request for arbitration at the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) in Paris claiming breach of contract due to non-payment by Tanzania Electricity Supply Corporation (Tanesco) for power from the 126MW Ubungo plant (AE 331/1). Symbion says Tanesco has refused to pay for its power since the contract was agreed, claiming variously that the power purchase agreement (PPA) had been “put on hold”, never been signed or, later, that it had been rescinded.

Tanzania
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The Federal Government of Nigeria’s new 100-page National Gas Policy (NGP) sets targets for policy reforms and improvements, starting in the upstream with policies to develop gas resources. The NGP aims to encourage exploration and development of new gas supply sources from inland and offshore basins, and to develop portfolio management methodologies to prioritise low-cost gas development. New reserves would then feed a restructured gas supply industry, whose future shape is outlined in the NGP.

Nigeria
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Senior Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) and World Bank Group (WBG) officials have been negotiating an estimated $2.519bn loan to support the Buhari administration’s Power Sector Recovery Plan (PSRP), announced in late February. Taking the lead is the Advisory Power Team, lodged in the office of Vice-President Oluyemi Oluleke Osinbajo, the key player driving policy during President Muhammadu Buhari’s period of protracted illness. The FGN’s key negotiators are finance minister Kemi Adeosun and power, works and housing minister Babatunde Fashola.

Nigeria
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The South African government suffered a major setback in its efforts to procure nuclear power when the High Court in Cape Town ruled on 26 April that three intergovernmental agreements, two ministerial determinations and all subsequent procurement activity was unlawful and unconstitutional. The decision means that two ministerial determinations – announcements by the energy minister that a certain amount of capacity will be procured from a particular technology – from 2013 and 2016 underpinning the government’s ambitious, and controversial, efforts to procure 9,600MW of nuclear power have been set aside.

South Africa
Issue 342 - 16 March 2017

Oranto signs for South Sudan block

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The Ministry of Petroleum and Nigeria’s Oranto Petroleum signed an exploration and production-sharing agreement (EPSA) for Block B3 in Juba on 6 March and said exploration work would start immediately. Oranto will be the technical operator and 90% shareholder of the block, with state oil company Nile Petroleum (Nilepet) holding a 10% stake.The 25,150km2 Block B3 has been open for investment for almost three years after France’s Total relinquished its interest in the block created in 2012 when the ministry divided the 118,000km2 Block B into three sections.

South Sudan
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On 20 March, Noureddine Bouterfa announced that he had dismissed Sonatrach chairman and chief executive (PDG) Amine Mazouzi following a meeting of the company’s board. In his place he appointed Abdelmoumen Ould Kaddour, the former PDG of Brown & Root Condor (BRC) who almost exactly a decade ago was being held under court supervision pending further inquiries into a major corruption scandal at BRC, then a joint venture between Sonatrach and Halliburton.

Algeria
Issue 329 - 01 September 2016

Ghana parliament approves Early Power deal

Subscriber

Parliamentary approval for a deal to install up to 400MW at Tema opens the way for a power purchase agreement to be signed by the Early Power Ltd consortium of Endeavor Energy, the local Sage Petroleum and GE. Local advocacy groups have raised concerns about pricing, but the Bridge Power project is the only new scheme currently working its way through the system, where other independent power projects have been stalled by World Bank and other donors’ concerns over financing.

Ghana
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US developer Symbion Power has sharply criticised Tanzania Electricity Supply Company (Tanesco) for what it says is its continued failure to pay for power supplied by the Ubungo plant. Despite losing a separate arbitration case brought by Standard Chartered Bank, the utility remains intransigent in its dealings with Symbion. But Ubungo has been shut down for several months and another big arbitration case could be on the cards, with all the accompanying bad press for President John Magufuli’s clean-up campaign.

Tanzania
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The signing of a peace agreement with a coalition of rebel groups hands Sudan’s interim leadership a chance to press the restart button on relations with the regions, potentially ending years of conflict and yielding opportunities for the country’s shrunken oil sector, writes James Gavin

South Sudan | Sudan
Issue 419 - 10 July 2020

Nigeria pushes gas agenda

Subscriber

President Mohammadu Buhari officially flagged off the Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano (AKK) gas pipeline project on 30 June, marking the start of construction for Nigeria’s largest gas pipeline development. The $2.8bn, 614km pipeline scheme will allow the injection of 2.2bcf/d of gas into the domestic power sector once two years of construction works are completed. Pointing to shifting global alignments, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) aims to finalise Chinese state-backed loans for the AKK project in August.

Nigeria
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Pleas from United Nations secretary-general António Guterres for a cessation in hostilities to enable medical personnel in Libya to deal with the spread of coronavirus have been ignored. On 8 April, the UN Support Mission in Libya reported heavy shelling of a hospital in Tripoli. The perpetrators were not named but were most probably aligned with the Libyan National Army (LNA) led by the warlord Khalifa Haftar.

Libya
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The National Agency of Petroleum, Gas and Biofuels (ANPG) has announced three block awards in the deep-water Namibe Basin from its 2019 bid round. ANPG said Sonangol was awarded 35% in Block 27, with the other 65% remaining open for negotiation by other interested companies. Eni was awarded operatorship of Block 28 with a 60% interest, alongside Sonangol with 20%, leaving 20% open for negotiations. Block 29 was awarded to Total as operator with 46%, alongside Equinor (24.5%), Sonangol (20%) and BP (9.5%).

Angola