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French developer Urbasolar Group launched construction of a 30MWp solar PV plant at Pâ in the Boucle du Mouhoun region in a ceremony on 1 February. The plant is being developed as a public-private partnership between the government, Urbasolar, and local partner PPS. The plant will cover an area of 35 hectares and is expected to produce 51.7GWh/yr, supplying the towns of Pâ, Wona, Houndé, Yaramoko and Boromo. Construction is expected to take ten months.

Burkina Faso
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Equatorial Guinea plans an Energy Year in 2019, promoting the sector while marking 50 years of independence from Spain. The government plans a series of events, starting with the biennial summit of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum in Malabo. Mines and hydrocarbons minister Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima said Malabo was also aiming to host ministerial meetings of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, as well as a ministerial meeting of the African Petroleum Producers Association along with a conference and exhibition.

Equatorial Guinea
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India’s Vikram Solar has partnered Johannesburg-based Powertech Africa to sell its solar PV modules to utility-scale projects and households in 14 African countries. Powertech Africa – which has established a network of offices providing electricity distribution products and is a subsidiary of Allied Electronics Corporation Ltd (Altron) – will be sales agent, selling 250Wp Eldora Ultima 60 cell modules. By May, the pair hope to have sold modules amounting to capacity of 1MW.

Issue 206 - 02 April 2011

USTDA funds grid study

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The US Trade and Development Agency signed an agreement on 24 March to provide a grant of $645,000 to the Ghana Grid Company to fund a feasibility study

Ghana
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Much remains to be done to improve levels of energy access and public services in many countries, but Southern Africa’s generation capacity is undoubtedly growing, according to African Energy Live Data. The new figures – extrapolated from Live Data’s 1,218 detailed entries for the region – show that on-grid generation capacity will have increased by 50% in the decade to 2020 if the potential of the project pipeline reported on the database is fulfilled.

Issue 255 - 31 May 2013

East Africa: Austrian support

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The World Bank Group’s International Finance Corporation has announced an agreement with Oesterreichische Entwicklungsbank (OeEB), the Austrian development bank, to increase sustainable energy investment in sub-Saharan Africa, starting with Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Rwanda. OeEB agreed to contribute €2m ($2.6m) to support project development, capacity building and assistance to financial institutions under the Africa Sustainable Energy Facility, a joint IFC and European Investment Bank (EIB) programme to increase investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency. Both institutions are contributing equally to the €60m financing facility, while OeEB, alongside EIB, is providing additional funds for a support unit that will identify and facilitate investments.

Kenya | Uganda | Rwanda | Tanzania
Issue 231 - 18 May 2012

Taza wind farm contract

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Office National de l’Electricité (ONE) has selected a consortium led by EDF Energies Nouvelles, in association with Mitsui & Co, as preferred bidder for the 150MW Taza wind project.

Morocco
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The government’s decision to abandon controversial plans to create regional electricity distributors shows the state centralising key business decisions, rather than letting the market shape the direction of the supply industry.

South Africa
Issue 224 - 02 February 2012

GE plans 100MW wind farm at Ngong

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US conglomerate GE has announced plans to develop a 100MW wind farm in Ngong, 20km south-west of Nairobi. GE chairman and chief executive Jeffrey Immelt told reporters in Nairobi that a strategic memorandum of understanding would be signed between GE and the Kenya government GE plans 100MW wind farm at Ngong

Kenya
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Well before President Abdelaziz Bouteflika emerged predictably triumphant from his campaign to win a fourth term of office, in which the zaïm (charismatic leader) himself player virtually no part, the talk among the Algerian political elite and many of their business partners was of ‘transition’. The enfeebled president was hardly able to function following his stroke last year, underlined by his halting performance taking the oath of office on 28 April; but there was consensus within the ruling elite that the Bouteflika IV administration would herald a period of transition, modernising the apparatus of state and functioning of the economy.

Algeria
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Engineering services company Penspen has won a contract from Petrozim Line to provide engineering, procurement services, construction and commissioning supervision for the latest phase of capacity expansion of the Feruka-Harare multiproduct pipeline. Penspen, which installed the original pipeline and has carried out a study for the expansion project over the last six years, will provide its services at three separate sites, Feruka, Wilton and Harare.

Zimbabwe
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Berkeley Energy, as manager of the Africa Renewable Energy Fund (AREF), is seeking expressions of interest from consultants to carry out a wind resource assessment for the Konikablo wind project. AREF, a $200m fund backed by the African Development Bank to invest in development-stage renewable energy projects, is considering investing in the potential 50MW wind scheme.

Ghana
Issue 228 - 30 March 2012

Kenya permit has convoluted history

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Tullow Oil and Africa Oil Corporation are in the enviable position of having no other partners in the 12,638km2 Block 10BB, where oil was found in March

Kenya
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New York Stock Exchange-listed Ormat Technologies Ltd announced on 4 February that it had begun commercial operations at the 29MW Plant IV at the Olkaria III geothermal complex, bringing total installed capacity at the site to 139MW. Power will be sold to Kenya Power under a 20-year power purchase agreement, amended in October 2015 to allow for the future increase in phases of capacity at Plant IV to 100MW. Ormat brought the first phase of Plant I online in 2000 and the second phase in 2009.

Kenya
Issue 311 - 06 November 2015

Mozambique: Five awards in bid round

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The National Petroleum Institute (INP) has awarded five blocks from the fifth licensing round, with ExxonMobil taking a commanding position in partnership with Russia’s Rosneft. INP resource assessment director José Branquinho told Africa Upstream the round had attracted total spending commitments of $691m and pledges of eight deep-water wells and two onshore wells. He said the INP was now planning a sixth round for 2017, and was working with service companies to acquire data. Agreement had been reached with Schlumberger for a multi-client 3D survey in the Angoche area, and other multi-client proposals were under evaluation.

Mozambique