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Project bulletin

Issue 429 - 17 December 2020

Niger: Nature reserve boundaries redrawn


The government is set to pass a decree revising the boundaries of a 97,000km2 nature reserve in eastern Niger to address the concerns of environmentalists, oil companies and donors. French NGO Noé, which manages the Termit and Tin-Toumma National Nature Reserve (RNNTT) hopes the decree will be adopted before the first round of the presidential election on 27 December.


A judge has ruled that energy minister Matthew Nkhuwa acted illegally by declaring the Copperbelt Energy Corporation network common carrier last year. The ruling has been widely welcomed by the industry but the dispute is by no means over, writes Chiwoyu Sinyangwe in Lusaka.


Total has defended itself against criticism of the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) project, publishing its social and environmental studies and action plans and pledging transparency. In the latest attack on the project, 263 organisations from 49 countries have banded together to campaign against the planned export pipeline to carry Uganda’s crude oil to the Tanzanian coast.

Uganda | Tanzania

A court in Milan on 17 March acquitted Eni and Royal Dutch Shell of corruption in the purchase of OPL 245. Campaigners said they were surprised and disappointed by the verdict, especially as two middlemen involved in the sale were found guilty in September 2018. The written ruling explaining the judge’s reasoning should be handed down 90 days after the verdict.


The government was dealt a blow on 15 June when the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council ruled in favour of Betamax, after the Mauritian-Singaporean petroleum products supply joint venture had appealed to the arbiter in London against a Supreme Court of Mauritius (SCM) decision against it.


ZETDC has been taken to arbitration by developer NRE in a dispute over US dollar payments, in a case with significant implications for the country’s struggling power sector and which also highlights the macroeconomic problems weighing on the Mnangagwa administration, writes Marc Howard


Prizes and league tables should often be treated with great caution (as underlined by Nobel laureate Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s war in Tigray), but credit should be given when it is due and, in that context, Uganda’s fourth consecutive first place in the African Development Bank (AfDB)’s Electricity Regulatory Index should be acknowledged as a triumph for the rule of law and sound management.


The World Bank’s International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes set another new record for the size of its caseload in 2021, with power and energy cases the most significant area of work and disputes involving African countries also prominent.

Kenya | Nigeria | Zimbabwe

French consultancy Sofreco has a new technical assistance contract to support the energy agency of the three-nation Great Lakes Economic Community (CEPGL), Energie des Grands Lacs. The 2015-16 contract is intended to build institutional, technical, human and other capacity; update the Regional Energy Master Plan; harmonise norms and standards, and environmental assessment practices; adopt funding, implementation and monitoring procedures for studies and projects; and consolidate the information and communication system.


President Filipe Nyusi has been working to raise Mozambique’s attractiveness to investors during a period when growth rates have dipped, and currency and political risks have risen. Promising signs have included a welcome easing of visa procedures and a more sympathetic ear given to major investors. The macroeconomic picture is improving: growth, which halved from its strong performance of recent years to 3.5% in 2016, will rise to 4.5% in 2017, with further improvement after that, Electricidade de Moçambique (EDM) chairman and chief executive Mateus Magala told the Africa Energy Forum (AEF) in Copenhagen.


The trial at the International Criminal Court (ICC) of Kenyan deputy president William Ruto was adjourned for a week on 23 September after Ruto asked for a suspension to enable him to return to Nairobi to handle the aftermath of an attack on the city’s Westgate shopping mall. Ruto went on trial on 10 September along with radio presenter Joshua arap Sang, charged with crimes against humanity in relation to their alleged role in co-ordinating the violence that swept Kenya in the aftermath of the country’s contested 2007 elections.


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.

Issue 332 - 18 October 2016

Chad: Doba consortium fined $76bn


A court in N’djamena has fined the ExxonMobil-led consortium producing oil from the Doba Basin $76bn in a dispute about royalties. Exxon said it disagreed with the court’s ruling and was “evaluating next steps”. It said the dispute was over “commitments made by the government to the consortium, not the government’s ability to impose taxes”. The court awarded the finance ministry CFA483.6bn in damages, plus a penalty of CFA44,294bn. The consortium has lodged an appeal in N’djamena as well as a case at the International Court of Arbitration in Paris.