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  • Geothermal exploration underway in Zambia
  • AFRICA: New AfDB support programme for solar energy opportunities
  • Kenya Set to Build Its First 1000MW Nuclear Power Plant
  • NAMIBIA: IBC Solar and 3 German universities thrive for rural mini-grids
  • Cameroon: signed letter of intent for hydropower project
  • EGYPT: IPPs intend to supply 2,150 MW of wind power for years to come
  • MOROCCO: Platinum Power to build a 108 MW hydroelectric dam
  • DRC: Largest solar power plant project on the cards
  • KenGen to inject 200MW into grid by 2021
  • NIGERIA: EU invests $165 million in renewable energy
  • AFRICA: World Bank provides $150 million to BOAD for electricity in the sub-region
  • SOUTH AFRICA: Enel begins Garob wind farm construction (140 MW)
  • Yet another wind farm for Enel Green Power
  • MOROCCO: Nabrawind Technologies will build Africa’s largest wind tower
  • ZAMBIA: Western Power allocates $500 million to Ngonye hydroelectric project
  • NAMIBIA: Natura Energy to build 50 MW solar power plant in Arandis
  • AFRICA: AfDB grants $500 million credit for electrification from renewable energy
  • EAST AFRICA: TDB Bank will finance several renewable energy projects
  • DRC: AfDB provides $73 million for Grand Inga Dam feasibility studies
  • MADAGASCAR: Trysbas Energy will supply 50 MW of solar energy within 5 years

  • Geothermal exploration underway in Zambia

    A Zambian geothermal exploration company, Kalahari GeoEnergy, announced the completion of the drilling of eight temperature gradient holes and the commencement of drilling slim wells at the Bweengwa River Geothermal Resource Area. The project forms part of the company’s resource delineation drill and well testing programme, which if successful will lead to a full technical and commercial feasibility study commencing late 2019. Bweengwa River is situated in the Kafue Trough, a sedimentary basin filled by the Permian-aged Karoo sequence, overlying metamorphic basement rocks; it is located to the west of Lusaka and extends westward into the Barotse Basin. The company has to date identified six geothermal energy targets including Bweengwa River, on all of which it is conducting geothermal exploration. Peter Vivian-Neal, the CEO, commented: “Results obtained to-date continue to provide confidence that Bweengwa River has the characteristics of a viable geothermal resource for power production”. “The current model of a 10MW or greater, power project, to be generated using binary technology, represents a significant step towards the company’s objective of producing geothermal power.

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    AFRICA: New AfDB support programme for solar energy opportunities

    Solar energy suppliers are once again the focus of the African Development Bank (AfDB). The board of directors of this pan-African financial institution has approved the implementation of a programme to encourage investment in companies that supply solar energy. These are off-grid solar power suppliers or home solar kit distributors, a sector that is growing in number on the African continent. The programme aims to support them by encouraging securitisation financing techniques that remove certain obstacles, by pooling debts to scale up, which is essential to be able to finance such a wide range of territorially based actions. The AfDB programme also intends to support local investors with risk mitigation instruments. Local actors are expected to invest in off-grid companies or solar kit suppliers in local currency, which for the AfDB will facilitate their expansion. The bank says it is willing to provide, “essential technical advice and credit enhancement for local businesses and financial intermediaries. Accelerating access to universal, affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for underserved populations requires innovative financing solutions.

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    Kenya Set to Build Its First 1000MW Nuclear Power Plant

    Kenya is planning on building its first nuclear power plant in the next eight to ten years. The Nuclear Power and Energy Agency (NuPEA) has contracted China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) to help establish the best location for the Nuclear power plant. The Indian Ocean, Lake Turkana, and Lake Victoria have been identified by the Nuclear Power and Energy Agency as the most suitable sites for housing the power plant. According to the Chief Executive Officer of NuPEA, Mr. Collins Juma, the Rift Valley was intentionally left out as a lot of water will be needed to cool the plant. NuPEA’s vision is to set up a 1000-megawatt (MW) power plant by 2027 and rising its capacity to 4000MW by 2033 so that nuclear electricity is becoming one major component of Kenya’s energy. With the site for the nuclear power plant establishment set to take two years, NuPEA’s CEO Mr. Juma thinks that is an ambitious timeline to achieve their intentions. “This characterization of the site is an activity that takes more than two years. Countries like Nigeria, Russia, and Turkey took three years to do it, so for us, this is a very ambitious timeline as we should be talking of three years,” said Mr. Juma.

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    NAMIBIA: IBC Solar and 3 German universities thrive for rural mini-grids

    “Solar energy is now cheaper than grid electricity, and the photovoltaic market in southern Africa has significant growth potential. The comments were made by Albert Engelbrecht, Senior Vice President Solutions International at IBC Solar, a company based in Bad Staffelstein, Germany. This observation justifies the choice made by some African countries to rely on this energy source to increase access to electricity. The decentralisation solution, i.e. off grid, is increasingly favoured in rural areas. And it is this solution that Bavarian universities (in south-east Germany) have chosen for a project in Namibia. These are the University of Bayreuth, the Technical University of Ingolstadt and the University of Applied Sciences in Neu-Ulm.The project of the German universities is called “Proceed”. It consists of installing solar mini grids in several villages. These universities have chosen IBC Solar as their technical partner. “We are very pleased to help universities implement this project with our expertise and products. The project contains promising solutions that can also be used to improve access to electricity in other rural areas of Africa in a cost-effective and efficient way,” says Albert Engelbrecht.

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    Cameroon: signed letter of intent for hydropower project

    Grand Eweng is under development by Hydromine as an independent power producer (IPP) in cooperation with the Government of Cameroon and is one of sub-Saharan Africa’s largest private sector-led power projects. The letter of intent defines the cooperation among the parties to finalise the terms of a power purchase agreement between the Grand Eweng project company to be formed and ENEO, under the supervision of the MINEE, for the sale of electricity produced by the Grand Eweng hydropower plant. In addition, the letter of intent sets out the framework and certain milestones for the development of the project on a build, own, operate, and transfer (BOOT) model, which transfers Grand Eweng to the State after the concession term. The Grand Eweng project includes the development, design, financing, construction, and operation of a hydropower plant on the Sanaga River between Yaoundé and Douala in the eastern Littoral Region.The project consists of a dam and reservoir with a hydroelectric facility and will be financed and commissioned in phases. The first phase is expected to add up to approximately 1,000MW of installed capacity generating over 7,000 GW/hours average annual energy generation.

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    EGYPT: IPPs intend to supply 2,150 MW of wind power for years to come

    The Egyptian government has set itself the goal of consuming 20% of electricity produced from clean sources by 2022. The country has also given itself the means to achieve its ambitions by creating conditions for private investment in the renewable energy sub-sector. Several independent power producers (IPPs) are interested in this North African country. According to sources at the Egyptian Ministry of Electricity and Renewable Energy, cited by our colleagues at the Daily News Egypt, several IPPs are proposing to produce 2,150 MW of wind energy in the country. Much of the east coast of the country is swept by winds that allow wind turbines to produce electricity. These IPPs that want to build wind farms are based in Germany, China, Saudi Arabia or the United States of America. According to the same source, the American company General Electric, which invests more in hydroelectricity in Africa, is also interested in wind power in Egypt. It has decided to join forces with the Danish company Vestas Wind Systems for a 4,000 MW wind power project.

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    MOROCCO: Platinum Power to build a 108 MW hydroelectric dam

    The Chinese company CFHEC and the Moroccan company Platinum Power will build a 108 MW hydroelectric dam in central Morocco. This decision is the result of a partnership agreement signed in Beijing on Wednesday, July 10, 2019 by Omar Belmamoun, CEO of Platinum Power and Zhou Yongsheng, CEO of CFHEC. CFHEC is a subsidiary of the public construction company China communication construction company (CCCC) and operates in Morocco through the Tangier Tech project. The construction of the future hydroelectric power plant could enable Morocco to achieve its objectives for the exploitation of renewable energies. By 2030, Morocco would like the share of green energy to exceed 52% in the energy mix. In 2018, 1,212 MW of wind power, 1,770 MW of hydropower and 700 MW of solar capacity were installed across the country. Platinum Power’s expansion into Morocco and Africa Platinum Power, a company owned by the American investment fund Brookstone Partners, is based in Morocco. It is specialised in the development and construction of renewable energy projects. In recent years, the company has positioned itself as one of the key players in the hydroelectric sector in Morocco.

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    DRC: Largest solar power plant project on the cards

    The multinational clean energy company, Hanergy Thin Film Power Group has secured a strategic order for setting up the 400MW solar PV power plants in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Building synergies to provide sustainable and stable energy supply in the DRC, the clean energy company and the Ministry of Energy and Hydraulic Resources of Democratic Republic of Congo, on May 29 signed a strategic partnership framework agreement for 400MW solar power plant. Under the agreement, the two parties along with the National Power Company of DRC will follow EPC+F financing model to make joint efforts through project cooperation and technical exchange to consolidate and increase cooperation in the fields of electricity, water, renewable energy and fuel. The cooperation is intended to gradually reduce the energy scarcity faced by the mining industry in the provinces of Katanga, Lualaba, Kasaï-Oriental, Kasaï-Central, Kivu and Sankuru, where the two parties will set up SPV plants with a cumulative capacity of 400MW upon signing of the formal contract. The execution of the co-operation will begin in December this year.

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    KenGen to inject 200MW into grid by 2021

    Electricity generator KenGen will increase electricity production to the national grid by more than 200 megawatts in the next two years. Under the plan, the power producer will add 165mw to the grid by the end of the year from the ongoing Olkaria V power plant and another 83.3mw by 2021. According to the chief executive Rebecca Miano, the power would be sourced from geothermal sources which had turned out to be the main taps for electricity in the country. According to Miano, KenGen is keen on replacing expansive thermal power in preference to geothermal which is clean and more reliable. “Works on the Olkaria V power plant are at an advanced stage and plans are underway to pump an extra 83.3mw by 2021,” she said. Speaking during a visit to the geothermal-rich area, Miano said that currently the country’s electricity capacity stands at 2,720mw. She said of the installed capacity, KenGen had contributed 1,631mw while Independent Power Producers have generated 1,089mw. “Geothermal leads at 40 per cent followed by hydro at 35 per cent while wind and solar stand at 13 and two per cent respectively,” she said. Miano added that over the years, KenGen has made major strides in production of geothermal electricity and that currently there were 310 wells drilled around Olkaria.

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    NIGERIA: EU invests $165 million in renewable energy

    Over the next 20 years, the Nigerian electricity sector will require $100 billion to expand. The EU has just put its weight behind it, releasing an amount of 165 million dollars. The money will be used to develop the renewable energy sector, which accounts for less than 10% of Nigeria’s electricity supply. The investment will improve access to electricity for nearly 90 million people. In an interview with the newspaper “The Nation”, Ketil Karslenn, head of the EU delegation of the ECOWAS zone, presents the challenges related to this investment. He acknowledges that in Nigeria, “more than 80 million people do not have access to the national electricity grid. A situation that affects people’s standard of living and economic life. Nigeria still has a long way to go in terms of electricity creation, development and consumption. This is why the EU supports energy initiatives in the country.” It is for this reason that the EU supports energy initiatives in the country.” The money will be used to finance several youth-led projects on the ground in the renewable energy sector; an approach that creates new jobs.

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    AFRICA: World Bank provides $150 million to BOAD for electricity in the sub-region

    The implementation of the Regional Off-grid electrification project (ROGEP) is coming soon. At the end of June 2019, the West African Development Bank (BOAD) received financial support for this purpose. The project will therefore be funded to the tune of $150 million. Part of this amount corresponds to a line of credit with a fixed limit of $140 million, the other part represents a grant of $10 million from the International Development Association (IDA), a structure of the World Bank. To finance this revival, the Clean Technology Fund (CTF) is also providing $74.7 million in funding, including $7.5 million in grants. ROGEP is an off-grid solar electrification project that will be implemented in West and Central Africa. The beneficiary countries of the programme are Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo. The completion of this project is expected to provide electricity to approximately 1.7 million people. In each country, solar kits from 20 to 350 KW and other tailor-made solutions will be provided to the inhabitants.

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    SOUTH AFRICA: Enel begins Garob wind farm construction (140 MW)

    Enel Green Power, the renewable energy subsidiary of the Italian group Enel, has recently started construction of its Garob wind farm in the Northern Cape, South Africa. The 140 MW plant will generate an investment of $200 million. Garob’s wind project is now on track. Enel Green Power has started construction of a wind farm near the city of Copperton, in the local municipality of Siyathemba, part of the North Cape Province. The subsidiary of the Italian group Enel has signed the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract for the plant with Nordex, a company based in Hamburg in northern Germany. It will install a total of 46 wind turbines, equipped with AW125/3150 turbines, one of the main features of which is the possibility of being controlled remotely using remote management software. In case of a problem, the company can send a team to the site more quickly to carry out repairs. Nordex will also maintain the Garob wind farm.

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    Yet another wind farm for Enel Green Power

    Enel Group, through its renewable subsidiary Enel Green Power RSA, has started construction on its 140MW Garob wind farm located near the town of Copperton, in South Africa’s Northern Cape province. Garob, which is the Group’s fifth wind project in the country, will involve an investment of over €200 million ($226 million). “With the start of construction of Garob, we have reached yet another important milestone in South Africa just weeks after breaking ground at the Oyster Bay wind project,” said Antonio Cammisecra, head of Enel Green Power. Cammisecra added: “Alongside boosting renewables growth in South Africa, we are focusing our sustainability activities on scientific education, which significantly contributes to the skills needed for power industry professionals, with a view to support local expertise. "Looking ahead, we will continue to break ground on the projects we were awarded in South Africa and to launch shared value initiatives for local communities, while scouting for further sustainable growth opportunities in the country’s renewable industry.” Garob is the third renewable project Enel Green Power has started building in South Africa since the beginning of this year, in line with its investment programme in the country.

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    MOROCCO: Nabrawind Technologies will build Africa’s largest wind tower

    Morocco wants to build a giant wind tower. The 144-metre-high building will be the largest in Africa, and will be one of the top 10 tallest wind towers in the world. It will be carried out by the Spanish group, Nabrawind Technologies. The work is expected to be delivered by early 2020 at the latest. The tower will house a turbine with a production capacity of 3.6 MW. The Spanish company decided not to opt for the traditional option for its implementation. Usually, to build an infrastructure of this nature, 500 m3 of concrete and 60 tonnes of steel are required. In this case, Nabrawind Technologies is opting for a foundation that will follow a stacked form that requires only 80 m3 of concrete and 10 tonnes of steel. This configuration costs 60% less, but guarantees the same result. South Africa has so far held the record for the highest wind tower in Africa. The country has a 115-metre high tower, installed by Siemens Gamesa, but it will soon pass the baton to Morocco. The world’s tallest wind tower is located in Germany. It reaches a height of 178 metres.

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    ZAMBIA: Western Power allocates $500 million to Ngonye hydroelectric project

    A further step towards the realisation of the Ngonye hydroelectric project in Zambia. Western Power Company, the ad hoc company created to implement the project, has just announced a $500 million investment for the project. This investment paves the way for the launch of the call for tenders to select a company to carry out the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) of the hydroelectric power plant, which is expected to operate the Ngonye Falls on the Zambezi River. The hydroelectric project will not require the construction of a large water reservoir. The company, which will carry out the project, will be responsible for building a diversion dam on part of the river above the Ngonye Falls, located between Senanga and Sioma districts. The water flow is very high in this part of the Zambezi River, located near the falls. The water that will be diverted will travel 3 km through a canal, before arriving at a hydroelectric power station located below. This will turn the two turbines of the power station, thus providing 60 MW of electricity. The project also includes the construction of a transmission line, which will connect the hydropower plant to the National Grid at Sesheke. The project is being developed by eleQtra, a subsidiary of InfraCo Africa, itself part of the Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG), an infrastructure financing platform supported by European governments.

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    NAMIBIA: Natura Energy to build 50 MW solar power plant in Arandis

    Natura Energy is ready to seize the new opportunities offered by the Namibian electricity market. The private energy project development and implementation company will start construction work on a solar photovoltaic power plant in Arandis, a mining town in the Erongo region of western Namibia, in the first quarter of 2020. TeraSun Energy’s solar park will have a production capacity of 50 megawatts. During the construction phase, 60 jobs will be created, and five more during the operation phase. The project cost is US$63.2 million, or N$900 million. A sum to be mobilised by TeraSun Energy, a subsidiary of Natura Energy, whose role is to commit large electricity consumers to conclude electricity supply contracts at competitive prices, with firm supply periods between 5 and 15 years, depending on the individual needs of customers. The Natura Energy solar project in Namibia is mainly driven by a recent government reform in the electricity market. In April 2019, the Namibian government liberalised the sale of electricity. This measure will take effect as of September 1, 2019.

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    AFRICA: AfDB grants $500 million credit for electrification from renewable energy

    Good news for renewable energy project developers in Africa, who now have an additional $500 million in funding to carry out their projects. Called the Energy Inclusion Facility (EIF), the line of credit is opened by the African Development Bank (AfDB). This financing comes at a time when the development of renewable energies, particularly solar energy, is experiencing a certain dynamism. The credit line is divided into two parts. An amount of $100 million is earmarked for the off-grid. This tranche will allow off-grid providers to expand their services, especially in rural areas where people are often not connected to the national electricity grid. The most common solution is the solar home kit, a small network that supplies a home. The off-grid market is not negligible for companies, with companies increasingly opting for grid autonomy, particularly in countries such as Nigeria. The greater part of the EIF, $400 million, is intended to support major projects, i.e. power generation for the grid. It will thus benefit independent power producers (IPPs), who develop projects of less than 25 MW, and who require an investment of around 30 million dollars.

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    EAST AFRICA: TDB Bank will finance several renewable energy projects

    Several independent power producers (IPPs) are currently in discussions with the Trade and Development Bank (TDB), a commercial bank owned by the Member States of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), the African Development Bank (AfDB) and China. The financial institution has more than 5.2 billion assets on the African continent (2017). “We are seeking to finance renewable energy projects to expand our energy portfolio, with a focus on geothermal, solar, wind and hydroelectric power,” said Michael Awori, Director of Loan Operations at TDB. He added that the funds currently available come from Exim Bank of China. The TDB already has geothermal projects in its sights, particularly in Kenya. This is the case of Menengai, located in the Rift Valley in the west of the country; developed separately by three IPPs, and which will have 105 MW, namely Sosian Energy, Orpower Twenty-Two and Quantum Power East Africa. The most advanced project is that of Sosian Energy. He commissioned the Chinese company Kaishan Renewable Energy Development, a subsidiary of Zhejiang Kaishan Compressor, to carry out the project.

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    DRC: AfDB provides $73 million for Grand Inga Dam feasibility studies

    The President of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group, Akinwumi Adesina, recently completed a working visit to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). During this trip, he visited the Grand Inga hydroelectric project site, about 30 kilometres from the town of Matadi, in the Bas-Congo province, in the southwest of the country. Akinwumi Adesina took the opportunity to announce that the AfDB would finance feasibility studies for the future hydroelectric dam with a total of US$ 73 million. “Inga means “yes” in the local language, the AfDB also says yes for the support of this much-awaited project for the industrialisation of Africa,” Akinwumi Adesina added. This is a first step in the development of this project, which would produce 11,000 MW of electricity. According to the AfDB President, the successful implementation of the huge Grand Inga hydroelectric project will require a “clear vision from the Congolese government, a personal commitment from the Head of State and support from regional institutions, including the AfDB”. AfDB financing is the second strong signal since the project was relaunched in 2013. The first took place in 2018 with the selection of the consortium responsible for the design, financing and construction of the large dam.

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    MADAGASCAR: Trysbas Energy will supply 50 MW of solar energy within 5 years

    A partnership has been established. The Malagasy government and the French company Trysbas Energy, which has been developing and operating photovoltaic solar power plants since 2008, will collaborate in the coming months on solar energy projects in Madagascar. An agreement was signed between the two parties on Thursday, June 20, 2019, paving the way for the construction of three solar photovoltaic power plants in the country. They will be located in the Analamanga and Vakinakarata regions. The project will provide electricity to nearly 50,000 households within five years. The cumulative capacity of the three plants will be 50 MW, in the meantime. Within nine months, they should already produce 5 MW of electricity. In Madagascar, the rate of access to electricity is 15% and barely 5% in rural areas. In recent years, climate change has not made electricity distribution more reliable. An article published in Madagascar’s online newspaper, L’Express, reports that in January 2019, blackouts due to falling water levels in the country’s main dams had become more and more frequent. Cuts of up to two hours were recorded every day. The construction of these three solar power plants with a combined capacity of 50 MW will improve the current situation, according to government forecasts.

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