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New Lixus licence operator Energean expects the gas play’s speedy monetisation, with appraisal drilling slated for later this year at the 18bcm Anchois field. The project's developers point to considerable existing gas-to-power and industrial demand, while the nearby GME pipeline could allow for some modest export sales to Europe.

Morocco
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President Macky Sall’s decision to postpone the 25 February presidential election until 15 December exacerbated an already poisonous atmosphere in Senegal. His 19 February decision to reverse that decision should lead to an election being held very soon, but political tensions will persist. African Energy’s Risk Management Report focuses on political risk indicators in a country that has long been favoured by donors and investors, and whose natural resources industries are booming as offshore oil and natural gas exports beckon. With attention firmly directed towards gas-to-power development, most other aspects of electricity industry reform, such as the unbundling of utility Senelec and introduction of wheeling have been left on hold – and further delays are likely.

Senegal
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Primera Gold, a joint venture between the Democratic Republic of Congo and United Arab Emirates, aims to more than quadruple the amount of gold it exports from DRC this year, despite criticism from a UN panel.

DR Congo
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London AIM-listed indie Chariot is planning an initial two-well exploration drilling campaign, but has approval for 17 other candidate well locations and re-entry of an existing gas discovery.

Morocco
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Robert Friedland’s High Power Exploration (HPX) plans to develop a rail line to take iron ore from its Nimba licence in south-eastern Guinea to a deep-water port at Didia in Liberia. It is the second major Mano River region iron ore rail announcement in recent months following the giant Simandou scheme, and promises to increase demand for electricity from Côte d’Ivoire’s hydroelectric plants.

DR Congo | Guinea | Liberia | Côte d'Ivoire
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Rivalry between the world’s two most powerful nations is driving a rush to build strategic export-focused railway infrastructure in Africa on a scale not seen since the height of the Cold War. Washington’s $500m commitment to the minerals export-focused Lobito Corridor has been countered by a $1bn Chinese proposal to rehabilitate the creaking Tazara line. The two megaprojects will have terminals close together in the Copperbelt, but geopolitical considerations are likely to prevent any interconnection, writes Marc Howard.

DR Congo | Angola | Guinea | Zambia | Liberia | Tanzania
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Publication of the 500th issue provides an opportunity to look back at a few triumphs and many missed opportunities in the industries African Energy has covered since it was launched in 1998. Industry and financial trends have evolved, and sometimes returned to haunt stakeholders years after they were thought to be history. One constant has been the huge increase in the continent’s population, which means the UN target of universal clean energy access is constantly pushed into the distance.

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Italy’s Eni and London- and Tel Aviv-listed Energean may get the first results from their Orion well in the North East Hap’y offshore block within a month, it what could be a transformative discovery for Energean, while also providing an early indicator of Egypt’s future as a gas producer.

Egypt
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French energy major TotalEnergies plans to add 14,000 b/d of condensate output by mid-2024 and up to 4 mcm/d of gas by 2028 from the south-eastern Nigerian field.

Nigeria
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The arrival of floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel the Léopold Sédar Senghor to the Sangomar site brings Senegal a significant step closer to realising its first offshore oil project.

Senegal
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Rio Tinto’s MoU with Kigali to explore and mine lithium signals the continued interest of mining majors in African transition minerals.

Rwanda
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Australian junior Globe says it is advancing its project to site a niobium refinery in the Malawian capital and has outlined an ambitious plan to power mining and refining operations with renewable energy.

Malawi
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South Africa’s EPCM Holdings has been awarded the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract for a 10,000m3 diesel storage facility at the Kamoa-Kakula copper mine in Lualaba province. Kamoa-Kakula is one of the world’s top ten copper projects in terms of annual production.

DR Congo
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Construction is expected to restart in mid-2024 at Mozambique LNG, with a revived financing package expected to be put in place after nearly three years of force majeure, and as the adjacent Rovuma LNG project is also resuming work.

Mozambique
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An oversubscribed Eurobond issue in January indicated that Côte d’Ivoire’s strong economic performance – including 6.5% GDP growth, big infrastructure investments and Eni’s major Baleine oil and gas field – has been enough to allay investors’ concerns over the presidential succession and wider regional instability. These issues feature in the first of African Energy’s new series of Risk Management Reports (RMRs), which will provide updates, analysis and context on key political, social, economic and energy trends in countries across the continent. In line with the model established by African Energy’s sister publication Gulf States Newsletter (GSN), a ‘risk grade’ (explained below) is assigned to each country. A full list of African risk grades will follow soon.

Côte d'Ivoire