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The National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) has approved a regulatory clearing account (RCA) balance for Eskom of R13.27bn ($763m).The RCA is a mechanism for recouping prudently incurred costs that were not foreseen in previous tariff determinations, as well as making adjustments where assumptions such as inflation and tariff income have varied. The balance will be recouped from standard tariff customers, special pricing arrangement customers and international customers. Eskom and Nersa have frequently found themselves at odds over the RCA as well as tariff determinations.

South Africa
Free

Project developers and financiers spend inordinate amounts of time and money assessing risks and their mitigation. But when traditional credit and political risk calculations are being made, they still too often overlook the populations whose land they are building on, even if they think they have community engagement in hand. Disgruntled populations may express their frustration and even violently turn on developments that seem beyond their control, and that threaten their (sometimes literally) sacred home turf.

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Angola has moved in recent weeks to take concrete legal action against the children of former president José Eduardo dos Santos over longstanding corruption allegations. José Filomeno dos Santos went on trial in December, accused of taking $500m out of the country in 2017 during his time as head of the country’s sovereign wealth fund, while at the end of December, a Luanda court ordered the freezing of Isabel dos Santos’ Angolan bank accounts and shares in state companies, as well as the assets of her Congolese art collector husband, Sindika Dokolo.

Angola
Issue 327 - 08 July 2016

Luanda turns down IMF funding

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Angola has opted not to pursue an extended fund facility (EFF) from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that would have offered significant funding alongside tough conditionality, and will instead seek only technical assistance. “The president of the republic has informed the IMF of the government’s decision to continue their policy dialogue with the fund only within the context of the Article IV consultation and not through discussion concerning an EFF supported programme,” IMF spokesman Gerry Rice told a news briefing in Washington on 28 June.

Angola
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Tanzania Electricity Supply Company (Tanesco) has sparked a storm of protest after the leaking of a letter to Symbion Power saying it was “ceasing negotiations” over a power purchase agreement (PPA) for the 120MW Ubungo plant, despite having signed the document last December. Symbion said in a 30 May statement that Ubongo, where US President Barack Obama outlined his Power Africa initiative in July 2013, was operating under a PPA signed on 10 December by Tanesco managing director Felchesmi Mramba. “There is no question whatsoever that the PPA is a valid and binding document,” the company said.

Tanzania
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Japan’s Hitachi Ltd on 28 September agreed to pay $19m to settle charges by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that it violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) by inaccurately recording improper payments to South Africa’s ruling African National Congress (ANC) in relation to the award of the combined $5.6bn boiler contracts for the 4,764MW Medupi and 4,800MW Kusile coal power plants.The revelations included in the SEC complaint have led to calls for legal action to be taken against South African group of companies Chancellor House and the ANC, as well as increased scrutiny of the controversial nuclear tender and Chancellor House’s involvement in the upcoming coal baseload independent power producer (IPP) procurement programme.

South Africa
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President José Eduardo dos Santos’ billionaire elder daughter Isabel has added to her portfolio with a controlling stake in Portuguese engineering company Efacec, ten years after she bought 38.3% in Portugal’s Galp Energia in partnership with Portuguese businessman Américo Amorim. Isabel dos Santos, whose fortune was estimated at $3bn last year by Forbes magazine, established the 50/50 Winterfell joint venture with the recently created Empresa Nacional de Distribuição de Electricidade (ENDE) in order to purchase foreign assets. Isabel dos Santos and Winterfell bought a 65% stake in Efacec Power Solutions at the beginning of June from two Portuguese companies, Grupo José de Mello SGPS and Têxtil Manuel Gonçalves.

Angola
Free

The suspension by President Goodluck Jonathan of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) governor Sanusi Lamido Sanusi led the naira to fall sharply and investors to rue the volatility of Nigerian politics. But it was hardly a surprise, following years of controversy surrounding the highly talented and combative governor, and months of Sanusi’s increasingly public criticism of the management of the oil sector and government finances by Jonathan and his close ally petroleum minister Diezani Allison-Madueke. By naming names in the Senate, Sanusi was more or less directly implicating the ruling clique on Aso Rock in gross malfeasance.

Nigeria
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Washington-based social impact project developer C-Quest Capital (CQC) has secured significant new finance for its deployment of clean cooking stoves in sub-Saharan Africa, in the latest sign of growing interest in the sector.

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The warlord Khalifa Haftar’s comprehensive blockade of oil export terminals in eastern and western Libya is an attempt to force his drawn-out siege of Tripoli into an endgame. His price for lifting the blockade is the replacement of both National Oil Corporation (NOC) chairman Mustafa Sanalla and Central Bank of Libya (CBL) governor Sadiq Al-Kabir. He also wants a greater share of oil revenues. Acceding to these demands would hand Haftar control of the two institutions that control the country’s resources and its money.

Libya
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Royal Dutch Shell, Eni, and several senior Eni executives including chief executive Claudio Descalzi will face a preliminary court hearing in Italy on 20 April. The Milan prosecutor is seeking that they be tried for alleged international corruption offences over the 2011 purchase of Nigerian OPL 245. The companies paid $1.3bn to the Nigerian government, which then transferred $1.1bn to Malabu Oil & Gas, owned by former oil minister Dan Etete, to which he granted rights to the block in 1998.

Nigeria
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The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has launched an investigation into payments made to Sonangol by Cobalt International Energy for a research centre that has yet to materialise. In its 10-K annual filing on 14 March, Cobalt said that, on 13 March, the SEC had informed the company by telephone that it had initiated an informal inquiry related to the Sonangol Research and Technology Centre. Payments for the centre were a condition of a production-sharing contract signed by Cobalt and BP in December 2011.

Angola
Issue 402 - 25 October 2019

South Africa: New PetroSA board

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The Central Energy Fund on 18 October replaced almost the entire PetroSA board, naming former National Union of Mineworkers general secretary Frans Baleni as chair, Business Day reported. The only board member remaining from the previous line-up is Mthozami Xiphu, executive chair of the South African Oil and Gas Alliance and former chief executive of the Petroleum Agency of South Africa.Baleni had served on the previous board, whose members were instructed in April 2017 to resign or explain to the annual general meeting why they should stay.

South Africa
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South Sudan’s oil income has been slashed by lower output, falling global prices, and an increasing production share taken by the government’s upstream joint venture partners. The treasury has fallen behind with payments due to Sudan for the use of its export infrastructure and is paying its debt by diverting greater quantities of oil to its neighbour. In 20 months the conflict has claimed tens of thousands of lives, displaced 4.6m people, and reduced oil production by up to a third and the burden of the war effort is exerting further pressure on the treasury, which is consistently overspending its military budget.

South Sudan
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The amount of oil that can be recovered from fields in western Uganda has emerged as a key issue in negotiations on production licences between the government, Tullow Oil and Total. Minister of energy and mineral development Irene Muloni told the East African Petroleum Conference in Kigali on 4 March that, of 6.5bn barrels of oil in place, the companies were proposing to recover only 1.4bn. Ministry permanent secretary Fred Kabagambe-Kaliisa told reporters the government was looking for a recovery factor of at least 25%. He said he hoped the talks would be concluded within three months.

Uganda