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Subscriber

The Copperbelt Energy Corporation (CEC) has gone to the Lusaka High Court seeking a judicial review to halt the government’s latest attempts to seize its transmission line network, including those it jointly owns with Democratic Republic of Congo’s Société Nationale d’Electricité (Snel).

Zambia
Subscriber

The $5.1bn sale of Unilever’s tea division assets to CVC Capital Partners points to the potential for emerging markets’ commodities, but social and governance concerns persuaded other bidders to pull back. This and other examples – such as the cancelled Kinagop wind project detailed by Pierre Bertrand below – point to shifting ESG metrics that cannot be ignored by operators and investors in all sectors, writes Marc Howard

Kenya
Subscriber

Energy minister Newton Kambala was fired by President Lazarus Chakwera on 11 August, following his appearance at Lilongwe Magistrates Court on graft charges. Kambala had been arrested by the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) two days earlier.

Malawi
Subscriber
Project bulletin

Local developer Sunrise Power and Transmission Company (SPTCL) has waived a $500m arbitral award owed to it by the federal government in relation to the 3GW Mambilla hydroelectric power (HEP) plant, and has ceased arbitral proceedings.

Nigeria
Subscriber

With a month to go before elections, state power utility Zesco has reduced daily power cuts to households from eight or more hours to four hours, in a move expected to boost President Edgar Lungu’s chances of another five-year term. However, the reduced load-shedding does not apply to mining companies, which are still restricted to less than 30% of their peak power demand. Zesco spokesman Henry Kapata said the utility was importing 90MW from a power barge docked at Mozambique’s Nacala port, 48MW from Aggreko and 75MW from Electricidade de Mocambique.

Zambia
Subscriber

Controversial former energy minister Chakib Khelil returned to Algeria on 17 March for the first time since his abrupt departure three years ago, pursued by allegations concerning his role in the Sonatrach corruption scandals (AE 317/17, 297/24). The path towards his rehabilitation was prepared by Front Nationale de Liberation leader Amar Saâdani, who is loyal to President Abdelaziz Bouteflika but not universally supported within his faction.

Algeria
Subscriber

In her final report as public protector, Thuli Madonsela has documented evidence surrounding the relationship of national utility Eskom and its senior leadership with the influential Gupta family. The report – entitled State of Capture – outlines alleged improper conduct by President Jacob Zuma and other state officials in their dealings with the Guptas – Indian-born brothers Ajay, Atul and Rajesh (‘Tony’) – which may have led to the removal and appointment of ministers and officials at state-owned enterprises with the intention of awarding contracts to benefit Gupta businesses.

South Africa
Issue 309 - 09 October 2015

SEC, DoJ probe Kinross Gold

Subscriber

Kinross Gold Corporation has said it is under investigation by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Department of Justice (DoJ) over its West Africa mining operations. The company said it had received SEC and DoJ subpoenas related to possible internal control deficiencies and improper payments to government officials.Toronto-based Kinross, which has mining operations in Mauritania and Ghana, said it first learned of the allegations in 2013 and launched an internal investigation. It subsequently received subpoenas from the SEC in March and December 2014, and July 2015, and from the DoJ in December 2014.

Issue 302 - 12 June 2015

Egypt: Bold sector reforms planned

Subscriber

President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi is reviewing a new electricity law which, if approved in its present form, will introduce further substantial reforms to the sector. Sector experts consulted by African Energy did not expect him to pass the law until after the summer peak demand period, as officials are unlikely to have the capacity to deal with the proposed changes before then. Among the main reforms envisaged by the law are the unbundling of grid operator Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company (EETC) from its parent company Egyptian Electricity Holding Company, and making regulator EgyptERA responsible for setting electricity tariffs.

Egypt
Subscriber

With Goodluck Jonathan’s presidency marked by a lack of improvement to power supply, a push from the top is needed to clear blockages that have held up progress. Generation on 31 March stood at only 3,540MW, according to the Federal Ministry of Power. With peak demand recorded at 12,800MW, the sector suffered a shortfall of some 9,260MW.The declaration of the Transitional Electricity Market (TEM) in February was seen as key to unblocking the sector. However, industry sources doubt whether the TEM is being fully implemented.

Nigeria
Subscriber

At the time of publishing it was unclear whether the United Nations would persuade delegates from Tobruk’s House of Representatives (HoR) and Tripoli’s General National Congress (GNC), meeting in the Moroccan town of Skhirat, to sign a deal on a unity government. They were ready to do so on 16 December, but at a separate meeting in Malta, HoR speaker Ageela Gwaider and GNC speaker Nuri Abu Sahmain – normally arch-rivals – jointly called for a postponement, making clear that the delegates in Morocco did not represent the will of either assembly.

Libya
Subscriber

The Brazzaville government is flagging the launch of a major licensing round in Cape Town next month, despite the lower oil price, but parliament still needs to approve a new hydrocarbons code. The new code, which updates the existing 1994 law, was approved by the cabinet in March. Based on a model production-sharing contract, it stipulates that state oil company Société Nationale des Pétroles du Congo (SNPC) is the holder of the mining title in each case, with the right to bring in local and international partners.

Congo Brazzaville
Subscriber

An initiative to bring local authorities, business and consumers together to develop the distributed supply of electricity to Cameroon’s many isolated communities was launched in Yaoundé on 10-13 March. The Invest’Elec initiative is supported by regulator Agence de Régulation du Secteur de l’Electricité (Arsel) and the European Union. They are seeking to establish a public-private partnership (PPP) model based on projects that use off-grid solutions to build integrated generation-distribution systems. The focus is on distributed mini-hydroelectric and biomass projects, seen as most appropriate to Cameroon’s resources base, and a few solar projects in the Far North region.

Cameroon
Subscriber

Allegedly corrupt dealings with the former Libyan regime are continuing to cost implicated companies dear more than four years after the start of the February 2011 revolution. On 19 February, Canada’s SNC-Lavalin Group announced in a statement to investors that corruption and fraud charges levelled by the Public Prosecution Service of Canada were “without merit”. It said it would “vigorously defend itself and plead not guilty”. President and chief executive Robert Card said that “the charges stem from the same alleged activities of former employees from over three years ago in Libya, which are publicly known, and that the company has co-operated on with authorities since then”.

Libya
Subscriber

The governments of Tanzania and Uganda, the Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC) and Total E&P Uganda signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on 12 October creating a working framework for the potential development of a crude export pipeline from Hoima to Tanga port.

Uganda | Tanzania