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Energy minister Matthew Nkhuwa on 1 June declared transmission and distribution assets owned by the publicly listed Copperbelt Energy Corporation (CEC) as common carrier. This is intended to allow Zesco to use CEC lines to supply power to the government-controlled Konkola Copper Mines (KCM), with which it has signed a term sheet for power supply. The regulator imposed a hastily approved wheeling fee, which CEC says is equivalent to only 30% of its current network tariff.

Zambia
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Energy minister Mmamoloko Kubayi announced on 1 September that the government intends to engage preferred bidders through the IPP Office to renegotiate all bids of more than R0.77 ($0.06)/kWh from bid windows 3.5 – a concentrated solar power only round – and 4. The announcement was greeted by a measure of positivity by industry associations but the intention to renegotiate is a major concern. The tariff cut-off announced by the minister includes every solar photovoltaic (PV) project bid in the fourth round – some 12 projects – as well as Kruisvallei hydro and Ngodwana biomass, also round 4, and Redstone concentrated solar power from round 3.5.

South Africa
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The South African government has gazetted technical regulations for petroleum exploration and exploitation, the majority of which deal with hydraulic fracturing in the country, providing guidelines for environmental impact assessment, detailing equipment standards to ensure safe drilling and specifying that all operators must obtain a water licence before starting work. 
Interested parties have until 14 November to submit comments on the proposals, then the government will make any adjustments and the regulations will be promulgated. Three companies, Royal Dutch Shell, Challenger and Falcon, filed applications for exploration in the Karoo Basin before the government placed a moratorium on licensing in February 2011 (AE 221/12).

South Africa
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Political decisions are likely to come thick and fast as a successor is chosen to Hailemariam Desalegn, who resigned on 15 February amid turbulent scenes across the country. The 180-member ruling council of the crisis-ridden Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), comprising 45 members from each of its four regional parties, has convened a three-day congress from 1 March to elect a new prime minister. Providing a degree of consensus can be maintained, this should be a set-piece event; the powerful EPRDF executive committee began deliberations on 26 February to hammer out a deal.

Ethiopia
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Recent moves by petroleum resources minister Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu to boost the pace of promised reforms in the oil industry have been welcomed by indigenous companies frustrated at the slow pace of change. Earlier this month, the government reached an outline settlement with five big international oil companies (IOCs) operating in Nigeria over some $5bn of arrears owed by Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) for its share of joint venture costs from 2010-15. The arrears have been a significant factor in holding back fresh investment, along with policy uncertainty, which Kachikwu is also committed to addressing.

Nigeria
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A group led by Anadarko Petroleum Corporation is nearing a final investment decision (FID) on the Golfinho-Atum liquefied natural gas (LNG) scheme, with long-term offtake agreements and a potential financial close finally coming into view even though sale of the full 12.8m t/yr nameplate capacity from the first two liquefaction trains is unlikely to be finalised before the key move. The Mozambique LNG (Area 1) partners have signed a long-term offtake agreement with EDF, a non-binding accord with equity partner PTTEP and a smaller contract to sell up to 280,000 t/yr for 15 years to Japan’s Tohoku Electric Power Company.

Mozambique
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The government is looking to revitalise bedraggled utility Jiro sy Rany Malagasy (Jirama) and attract investment to help reach its goal of generating 85% of power from renewables by 2030. But some of the signals given out by President Hery Rajaonarimampianina ahead of the 2018 elections have political analysts concerned.Speaking to African Energy at Developing Markets Associates (DMA)’s UK-Madagascar Trade and Investment Forum, President Rajaonarimampianina said the country was looking for public and private investment to build energy infrastructure, adding that it was one of the sectors generating the most interest from foreign investors.

Madagascar
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Johannesburg-based groundWork has launched a case in the North Gauteng High Court to force mineral resources and energy minister Gwede Mantashe and the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) to publish decisions take in relation to the 2019 Integrated Resource Plan (IRP).

South Africa
Free

Efforts to mitigate climate change, while electricity supply industries, transport networks and other big consumers of energy are put on a more sustainable, less carbon-intense footing, will rise sharply up the global agenda in 2021, ahead of the next big round of climate talks to be held on 1-12 November in Glasgow. This is likely to involve a rush into green bonds, new project financing and other instruments that could significantly increase the pace of Africa’s shift into a more sustainable energy future.

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Somalia’s nascent hydrocarbons sector is emerging as a key battleground in President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed’s conflict with rival politicians over delayed elections. The licensing round closing date has been pushed back amid uncertainty over the government’s mandate, writes James Gavin

Somalia
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President Macky Sall’s government has emerged from the immediate chaos of extensive rioting and is pointing to major gas, infrastructure and other developments as a way to restore growth and create jobs, but its calm outward face hides deep concerns over governance and social tensions in a country which has sucked in debt and equity on the basis of its stable reputation, write Waly Dione Faye and Jon Marks.

Senegal
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Kenya’s Energy and Petroleum Regulatory Authority (EPRA) has invited public comments on the draft energy (mini-grid) regulations 2021 ahead of their publication later this year. EPRA has set a deadline of 9 June for suggested amendments, which will become the new legal framework for mini-grids.

Kenya
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After years of delay, things are moving forward in Malawi, with three solar IPPs set to commission this year – despite Covid-related problems – and new battery storage and wind projects expected by a reforming administration, writes Marc Howard In an unusual development for a country where economic and governance issues have for years served to delay investments, offtaker Power Market Ltd (PML)’s chief executive Rosemary Mkandawire has said Malawi had recently received “too many” applications from developers of solar power projects. The surge in interest comes as three independent power projects (IPPs) procured during a 2017 tender are due to be commissioned this year.

Malawi
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Construction has begun on the 19MWp/15MWac Cuamba solar PV plant with 2MW/7MWh battery storage in Mozambique, according to a statement by project sponsors UK-based Globeleq, private equity firm Source Capital and Electricidade de Moçambique (EdM) on 14 June.

Mozambique
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Hopes among private power producers in Zambia that Zesco might find a way to clear its arrears for electricity are fading, with one source saying “Zesco is technically insolvent.”

Zambia