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Issue 350 - 14 July 2017

Ophir cuts jobs, FID delayed

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In a sign of how tough market conditions still are, Ophir Energy is slashing London-based and expatriate jobs by 50% to save $10m-$12m/yr. Chief operating officer Bill Higgs will be stepping down from his role and will not be replaced. In a 12 July trading update, Ophir said H1 production was lower than expected at 11,300 boe/d, which was 1,200 boe/d below budget due to temporarily lower production from the Kerendan and Sinphuhorm gas fields in South-East Asia.

Subscriber

The African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved a $14.12m facility supporting Nigeria’s membership of the African Trade Insurance Agency (ATI). ATI provides political risk insurance for investment into member countries, using host government equity as collateral. Membership of ATI could allow as much as $5bn worth of investment into Nigeria to be insured by 2020, according to the AfDB.

Nigeria
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Scatec Solar, established in 2007 by Norway’s Scatec Group (62.5%) and Japan’s Itochu Corporation (37.5%), has announced that it has connected its 75MW Kalkbult solar PV project to the grid three months ahead of schedule. Project director Kari Fremme told African Energy that tests for full commissioning were completed in September and that regular production had begun. The project was selected as a preferred bidder in the first round of the renewable energy independent power producer procurement (REIPPP) programme. According to Fremme, the delay reaching financial close for all REIPPP1 bidders allowed Scatec to finalise plans and begin construction as soon as the relevant documents were signed.

South Africa
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Recent pressure on the Kenyan, Tanzanian and Ugandan shillings poses problems for power developers and others operating in East Africa’s fast-growing economies, with echoes of the late 1990s events in Asia that undermined that region’s burgeoning IPP sector, writes Kevin Godier with Jon Marks

Kenya | Uganda | Tanzania
Issue 172 - 17 October 2009

Old guard quits Hyperdynamics board

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China has turned its attention to Guinea as offshore licence holder Hyperdynamics brings in a new team. Former chairman and chief executive Kent Watts and current executive vice president Harry Briers have quit the Hyperdynamics board, though Briers will remain on the management team.

Guinea
Issue 220 - 18 November 2011

AfDB funding for Lom Pangar

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In another co-financing operation to support Cameroon’s power sector, the African Development Bank has approved a $71.1m loan to finance the Lom Pangar hydroelectric project. The project’s estimated $419.2m cost is being jointly financed by the World Bank Group, European Investment Bank, Development Bank of Central African States

Cameroon
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Benin’s Maria-Gléta thermal plant was hit by a turbine explosion during testing on 7 January, causing significant damage. The 80MW plant has suffered a series of delays since the US’ Combustion Associates won a contract to build the plant in 2008 as a short-term government-funded solution to supply woes.

Benin
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The Zambezi River Authority (ZRA) says spillway refurbishment works for the Kariba dam have entered the procurement phase, with a tender expected to be launched in December, paving the way for the works contract to be awarded by mid-2018.ZRA chief executive Munyaradzi Munodawafa said progress on the Kariba Dam Rehabilitation Project (KDRP) was steady, with the plunge pool in the implementation phase and spillway refurbishment works under procurement.

Zimbabwe
Issue 290 - 04 December 2014

Guinea: Endeavor, E2M to develop 100MW

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US power developer Endeavor Energy and Mauritania’s Energie, Environnement et Mines (E2M) have signed a joint development agreement to rehabilitate the 24MW Tombo 1 and 26MW Tombo 2 power plants in Conakry, as well as building a temporary 50MW greenfield project. Endeavor said in a 20 November statement that the partners would develop, finance, construct, own and operate the temporary plant until the government can “implement more permanent solutions”, and refurbish and/or complete construction of, finance and operate the Tombo heavy fuel oil plants for a set duration, thenhand them back to the government.

Guinea
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Depressed oil prices throughout much of 2017 were a drag on the Nigerian economy, producing low growth numbers (0.7% in real terms, having contracted by 1.6% in 2016) that gave economists – and Nigerian consumers – much to be gloomy about. Coupled with problems in sub-Saharan Africa’s other big economy, South Africa, Nigeria’s lacklustre showing pulled down the whole region’s growth – which was the weakest reported for sub-Saharan Africa since the global financial crisis struck. Higher oil prices in 2018 will give a boost, but political issues will continue to weigh heavily on economic policy.

Nigeria
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The process of procuring 9,600MW of nuclear power will begin by end-September and will be completed within the financial year, according to deputy director-general for nuclear energy at the Department of Energy (DoE) Zizamele Mbambo. Speaking at a government briefing in Durban on 14 July, Mbambo announced that the bid invitation specification and related criteria would be completed by the end of the month, followed shortly by the start of a procurement process that the DoE expects will lead to the selection of a strategic partner or partners by the end of the 2015-16 financial year.

South Africa
Issue 227 - 15 March 2012

Total signs PSAs for offshore acreage

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Total has signed production-sharing agreements with Petroci for three new ultra-deep offshore licences

Côte d'Ivoire
Free

A ground-breaking ceremony took place on 4 December for Kenya Electricity Generating Company’s 83.3MW Olkaria I Unit VI plant, which is expected online in 2021. The ceremony was attended by President Uhuru Kenyatta.

Kenya
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The Moroccan Agency for Sustainable Energy (Masen) has secured financing for its innovative Noor Midelt project to generate electricity from a concentrated solar power (CSP) and photovoltaic (PV) hybrid plant. A $25m loan from the Climate Investment Funds’ (CIF) Clean Technology Fund has been approved for the Noor Midelt Phase I CSP project, which is also supported by the African Development Bank (AfDB) and World Bank. The project will generate a total of 600MW-800MW.

Morocco
Issue 340 - 16 February 2017

Saltinho project study

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The Organisation for the Development of the Gambia River Basin (OMVG) is set to issue a tender for feasibility, environmental impact and engineering studies for the construction and operation of a run-of-river hydropower plant with an estimated capacity of 20MW on the Corubal River in the Saltinho area in central Guinea-Bissau. The studies for the Saltinho project, which is to be sited some 100km south-east of the capital, Bissau, have the technical and financial support of the African Development Bank through the Sustainable Energy Fund (SEFA), the United Nations Fund for Industrial Development, the Economic Community of West African States and the Austrian Development Bank.

Guinea-Bissau