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A reckless attempt by Prime Minister Abdel Hamid Dabaiba to spend his way into an unchallengeable position of authority has brought Libya to the brink of ruin. More than a decade after the revolution that toppled Colonel Muammar Qadhafi’s Jamahiriya system, both money and viable political options have all but run out, leaving an exhausted, impoverished and furious population confronting a crisis of existential proportions during an unbearable early summer heatwave.

Libya
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A string of UAE companies – some with links to national security adviser Sheikh Tahnoon Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan – are said to be involved in a plan to develop a new Red Sea port, working with Sudanese businessman Osama Daoud Abdellatif. In a complex political situation, this might also be of interest to regime number two Mohammed Hamdan Dagalo (aka Hemedti)’s friends in Russia.

Sudan
Free

It is more than a whisper: international institutions and private equity (PE) investors are again exploring major hydroelectric power (HEP) deals, after years during which environmental, social and governance (ESG) concerns made big dams a problematic issue for development finance institutions (DFI) and other potential investors.

Mozambique | DR Congo | Malawi | Nigeria | Togo
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Project bulletin

A High Court hearing on 21 June marked the latest stage in a long-running dispute over efforts by Tanzania Electricity Supply Company (Tanesco) to replace Jacobsen Elektro as the engineering, procurement and construction contractor for the expansion of the 185MW Kinyerezi I gas power plant.

Tanzania
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London’s High Court ruled that JP Morgan did not breach fiduciary rules when it transferred funds stemming from the sale of the controversial oil production licence (OPL) 245. The judgement reveals further details of graft in the long-running saga, as Justice Cockerill found that the original award of the licence was probably corrupt and ex-oil minister Dan Etete had benefitted financially from it. Meanwhile, 25 years after it was first awarded, other disputes continue over the highly prospective OPL 245.

Nigeria
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The oil and gas industry and local environmental campaigners are awaiting a ruling from the Gqeberha High Court in the Eastern Cape, following a three-day hearing on Shell’s offshore seismic survey plans which was adjourned on 31 May with judgement reserved.

South Africa
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Harare City Council (HCC) has suspended a joint venture with Dutch firm Geogenix, just a few weeks after the investor started work on a recycling facility and a 22MW waste-to-energy plant at the city’s Pomona dump site.

Zimbabwe
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Major trading houses are among those approaching potentially hugely lucrative cobalt and other energy transition plays in Democratic Republic of Congo with an eye to ESG concerns, as international scrutiny of mining practises – and especially the huge involvement of artisanal miners – intensifies as the world looks for inputs into its new electric vehicles and batteries, write Marc Howard and AE staff.

DR Congo
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The World Bank Group’s International Centre for Settlement of International Disputes (Icsid) has ruled in the Conakry government’s favour that there was overwhelming evidence that Beny Steinmetz’s BSG Resources (BSGR) obtained mining rights for the Simandou iron ore project’s blocks 1 and 2 through corrupt practices.

Guinea
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Key partners in the giant Simandou iron ore project – potentially Africa’s biggest new minerals and infrastructure scheme – are thought to be close to finalising the terms of their joint development, although governance issues appear to have caused a last-minute delay.

Guinea
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Commodity giant Glencore has pleaded guilty and agreed to pay the US authorities almost $1.2bn to end investigations into bribery and market manipulation. The settlement was part of a coordinated resolution with criminal and civil authorities in the US, UK, and Brazil announced on 24 May.

Cameroon | DR Congo | Nigeria | Equatorial Guinea | Côte d'Ivoire
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With less than six months to go before COP27 opens at Sharm El Sheikh, a power shift is under way as energy and momentum drain from the United Kingdom’s presidency and build in Egypt’s camp. The early signs are that the next event will have a very different tone and character from COP26 in Glasgow, with considerably less emphasis on making big policy claims that may be hard to keep and a focus on getting climate-related business deals signed.

Egypt
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A dispute over loans given to Aiteo Eastern E&P to pay for its acquisition of Nigerian oil assets from Shell in 2015 is heading for arbitration after a London court ruling. One lender warned that a default could have serious consequences for the Nigerian banking system.

Nigeria
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Commodity traders remain vital to Africa and the global economy, yet even the mightiest traders are finding conditions difficult amid the shocks to oil prices and global markets caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and Russia’s war in Ukraine. Trading activity that was in the past routine has become unviable in recent months owing to the increased need for credit. African Energy examines how players have responded to changes in the sector over the past decade, from the information revolution – which has made previously difficult-to-acquire data readily accessible – to shifts in business models, at least in part, towards vertical integration and increasing scale, that have seen traders become processors and even producers in their own right.

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The Zondo Commission has finally published the key volumes of part IV of the State Capture Commission Report, detailing the Gupta brothers’ takeover of South Africa’s energy sector. A range of people have been identified as potentially guilty of criminal offences, writes Dan Marks.

South Africa