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  • Focusing on energy independence and renewables, Djibouti is banking on geothermal energy
  • Ethiopia: USTDA funds feasibility study for Tulu Moye geothermal project
  • Angola receives renewable energy investments worth $1m
  • Solar firm gets Sh292 million to power Busia County
  • S.Africa: Kangnas Wind Farm gears for construction
  • Chinese builders help Morocco restructure energy mix via solar power projects
  • Vestas secures EPC contract for wind project in Senegal
  • New research shows biogas feasible as a clean cooking solution in East Africa
  • 30,000 Zambian households gain access to energy
  • Lake Turkana 428 km power line complete, to add 310 MW to grid
  • U.S. Supports Geothermal Power in Ethiopia
  • Enel starts construction of its first power plant in Zambia
  • Egypt Prepares 4MW Solar Power Project for Uganda's Renewable Energy
  • Engie to Build Eight Solar Power Plants in Gabon
  • Canadian Solar Partners With ET Energy to Build 132 MWP of Solar Projects in South Africa
  • Kenya secures $237 million of U.S. investment in wind power and food
  • Chad signs a deal with Infraco Africa for a 60MW Djermaya solar project
  • Mozambique secures loan to explore solar PV, energy storage
  • AIIM invests in 800MW of clean power
  • Ethiopia opens plant to turn waste into energy
  • Juwi bags EPC deals for 250 MW of S African solar projects
  • Namibia completes installation of its largest PV-plus-storage system
  • InfraCo Africa inks 60-MW solar PPA in Chad
  • Construction of Phase I of regional power pool project set for completion

  • Focusing on energy independence and renewables, Djibouti is banking on geothermal energy

    Djibouti has set itself an ambitious 100% renewable energy target by 2020. Looking at wind and solar, Djibouti is focusing on geothermal energy. “Djibouti is located at the point where three major rifts meet – the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden and East African Rift – at the tip of the tectonic plates and is a volcanic area where there are a large number of vents, fumaroles and hot springs. This energy stored underground, in particular around the Abbe and Assal lakes, holds a renewable potential which is not yet sufficiently exploited. Following twenty years of attempts which have not really produced results, the Government of Djibouti is more than ever determined to enter fully into the geothermal era. The country is supported by the international community and is investing in and launching new exploration and drilling campaigns. One of the campaigns is a promising but technically difficult project: the exploration conducted in the Fialé caldera, in the Lake Assal region in the center of the country. The drilling operations were launched on 11 July 2018. These tests will assess the geothermal capacity of the site, by drilling three directional boreholes at a depth of 2,500 m in a reservoir of fractured volcanic rocks where the water temperature is estimated at 300 °C.

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    Ethiopia: USTDA funds feasibility study for Tulu Moye geothermal project

    The United States Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) has announced that it will fund the feasibility study for the first phase of the Tulu Moye geothermal project in Ethiopia’s Great Rift Valley with a total of $1.1 million. The Tulu Moye geothermal project is coordinated by TM Geothermal Operations Private Limited Company (TMGO). It is based in Ethiopia and has entrusted the study to Delphos International Ltd, an American company based in Washington, D.C. The entire project will require an investment of $2 billion over an eight-year period. It will take place in four phases. The first, for the installation of a 50 MW capacity, will cost $250 million. “We need to complete this funding by the end of next year. The first wells will be drilled, proving the viability and reliability of the resource. Thereafter, the start of Phase 1 delivery for the first 50 MW will follow by the end of 2021,” said Darrell Boyd, TMGO’s Managing Director. In the long term, the Tulu Moye geothermal project will have a capacity of 520 MW.


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    Angola receives renewable energy investments worth $1m

    The Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA), managed by the African Development Bank, has approved a $1 million grant to Independent Power Producers (IPPs) in Angola, in efforts to encourage private investment in renewable energy. The bank explained that the SEFA grant will be used to establish a one-stop shop unit known as the Energy Project Implementation Support Unit. SEFA technical assistance will work as an enabling environment for IPP/Public-Private Partnership (PPP) projects to improve bankability of projects. Additionally, it will address capacity-building issues by providing technical assistance on project procurement, contract design implementation and monitoring. As part of its long-term development strategy, the government of Angola aims to expand electricity access to 60% of the population by 2025, with an expected 70% to be derived from renewable sources. “This project will enable and stimulate investments through IPPs in the Angolan renewable energy sector,” said Amadou Hott, the African Development Bank’s Vice President for Power, Energy, Climate Change and Green Growth.


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    Solar firm gets Sh292 million to power Busia County

    A Portuguese clean energy company operating in Kenya has raised €2.5 million (about Sh292 million) from international investors to provide solar electricity and power its local expansion. The firm, RVE. SOL, said the fresh capital will be channelled towards electrifying and providing clean water for up to 50,000 people in Busia County. RVE. SOL founder and managing director Vivian Vendeirinho told the Business Daily that its local subsidiary will set aside €2.7 million (about Sh315.5 million) to connect 2,000 new consumers in 15 communities over a two-year period. “We have an memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Busia County government for the project. We will invest 2.7 million euros over 24 months to take our consumer count to 2,100,” said Mr Vendeirinho. “We plan to hire an additional 25 employees. We are in talks with several other counties along the border. We are targeting 40,000 customers in five years.” Kenya’s solar kits market has attracted multinationals such as Indian firm Orb Energy, Germany-based Mobisol and local company M-Kopa among others.

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    S.Africa: Kangnas Wind Farm gears for construction

    In the North West region of South Africa, the 140MW Kangnas Wind Farm, one of the REIPPPP’s giant Bid Window 4 projects, is gearing up for construction, having already cleared 95% of its site roads, totalling over 52km’s. The sit terrain has a rocky underlay prevalent in over 80% of foundation hardstands. The construction team, led by Manie Kotzé, has already managed to clear thirty-three hardstands as well as excavating two turbine foundations. “Clearing and grubbing is an essential part of all construction development, paving the way for us to begin excavating the turbine foundations,” explained Kotzé, Construction Project Manager for Kangnas Wind Farm. Even though it’s still early days in the construction process, considering that financial closure was achieved just three months ago, the construction team has also commenced with controlled blasting, to a depth of 2,5metres, on five hardstands and is forging ahead to begin building the turbine foundations.

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    Chinese builders help Morocco restructure energy mix via solar power projects

    Looking north from the downtown, a tower measuring 248 meters high shines in the sun. It is the tallest solar tower in the world, which is built by a Chinese construction company as part of Morocco's Noor III Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) project. In order to reduce dependence on energy imports, the Moroccan government has been actively developing renewable energy, and plans to raise the proportion of renewable energy to the total energy consumption to 42 percent by 2020. Under the Belt and Road Initiative proposed by China in 2013, Chinese builders came to Morocco to provide a solid fulcrum for the energy restructuring of this North African country. The initiative, formally known as the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road, aims to build a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Africa and Europe along the ancient trade routes of the Silk Road. Since 2015, Shandong Electric Power Construction Co., Ltd (SEPCO III), a subsidiary of Power Construction Corporation of China, has undertaken the construction of NOOR II and NOOR III CSP projects in Ouarzazate.


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    Vestas secures EPC contract for wind project in Senegal

    Danish wind systems manufacturer Vestas has been tasked with providing a customised solution for the 159MW Parc Eolien Taiba N’Diaye, Senegal’s first large utility-scale wind energy project. The wind farm claimed to be the largest wind project in West Africa, will expand the country’s generation capacity by 15%, supporting the development of affordable renewable energy and diversify Senegal’s energy mix. The engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract was signed with Parc Eolien Taiba N’Diaye, a company majority-owned by Lekela - an experienced renewable energy company that has developed 1.3GW of wind and solar projects across Africa - and partly-owned by French developer Sarreole that has been part of the project from its beginning. The order includes the supply, transport, installation and commissioning of 46 V126 3.45MW turbines, as well as an Active Output Management 5000 (AOM 5000) service agreement for the operation and maintenance of the wind park over the next 20 years.


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    New research shows biogas feasible as a clean cooking solution in East Africa

    Creation of biodigester markets in East Africa is feasible, according to a new analysis from the US Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) in collaboration with Hivos. With support from the US National Institutes of Health and the Clean Cooking Implementation Science Network; the biogas programmes of Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda were evaluated using the RE-AIM framework, an approach that assesses Reach, Effectiveness, Adoption, Implementation, and Maintenance.Clean air is vital for human survival. The World Health Organization (WHO) states that Household Air Pollution (HAP), caused by something as basic as cooking on solid (wood) fuels, takes over 2.6 million lives each year; more than HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis combined. Household air pollution has been called the ‘silent killer’ taking mostly women and children before their time.


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    30,000 Zambian households gain access to energy

    Within a period of nine months, 30,000 Zambian households have gained access to energy for the first time. This was achieved through the collaborative efforts between renewable energy company, Fenix International and telecom firm MTN. Lyndsay Handler, CEO of Fenix International, commented: “This marks a great milestone for the entire Fenix Zambia team. ReadyPay Solar Power System is now providing power for clean, bright lights, phone charging, satellite TV and more to over 150,000 people in off-grid Zambian households. "The impact on our customers and their communities is transformational: household income is boosted; families are safe from dangerous and polluting kerosene; children can complete homework after darkness falls.”


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    Lake Turkana 428 km power line complete, to add 310 MW to grid

    A high voltage power line to carry electricity from a 310 megawatt (MW) wind power plant to central Kenya from the north is complete and supply to the national grid will stabilise by December, Energy CS Charles Keter has said. The 428km, 400-kilovolt power line is critical for the Lake Turkana Wind Power project, to carry electricity from Loiyangalani in the north to Suswa in the centre of Kenya. Danish wind turbine maker Vestas Wind Systems, the supplier of the wind farm's 365 turbines, said last year the wind farm was ready for launch but would be idle until the government installed the transmission line. "What is left now is the official commissioning for the power plant and the transmission line," Keter said on Tuesday during a site tour of the transmission station that will receive the electricity.


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    U.S. Supports Geothermal Power in Ethiopia

    The United States continues to invest in Ethiopia's capacity to develop its energy sector. On 27th August 2018, the U.S. Trade and Development Agency awarded a grant to TM Geothermal Operations Private Limited Company (TMGO), an Ethiopian company, to coordinate a feasibility study supporting development of the first 50 megawatts of a planned 520-megawatt Tulu Moye Geothermal project in the Main Ethiopian Rift. The study will be conducted by U.S. firm, Delphos International, Ltd., which has expertise in supporting power sector development and financing from its work across 35 countries. "The United States is pleased to support this project, which will foster energy diversification and improve access to affordable and reliable electricity in Ethiopia," said Thomas R. Hardy, USTDA's Director of Congressional and Public Affairs. "This study will also create opportunities for U.S. companies in Ethiopia's growing geothermal sector."


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    Enel starts construction of its first power plant in Zambia

    Enel Group’s global renewable energy division Enel Green Power (EGP) has started construction on the 34 MW Ngonye solar photovoltaic (PV) plant, which is the group’s first power plant in Zambia. The PV facility, which is located in Lusaka South Multi-Facility Economic Zone in the country’s south, is part of World Bank Group’s Scaling Solar programme carried out by Zambia’s Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), which, in June 2016, awarded EGP the right to develop, finance, construct, own and operate the plant. “The start of construction of Ngonye solar plant is a new milestone in the strengthening of Enel Group’s presence in the African continent, where we already are the first private renewable operator in terms of installed capacity,” said EGP head Antonio Cammisecra. Enel Group will invest around $40-million on the construction of Ngonye, which is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2019.


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    Egypt Prepares 4MW Solar Power Project for Uganda's Renewable Energy

    The business environment in Uganda is proving to be more conducive for investors with more investments lining up for a share of the economy. In a bid to be consistently competitive in the East African region, the Government continues to put efforts to make necessary adjustments to facilitate the growth of businesses and attraction of the same. The value of Foreign Direct Investments continues to rise in the country to affirm the economic development taking place. Egypt is currently at the forefront of establishing stronger bilateral relations with its African partner. The transcontinental party, in partnership with the Government of Uganda, will implement a 4MW solar power project that is geared at improving the country's renewable energy performance. Renewable energy has been touted as a reliable source of power for African nations, and a vehicle to drive economic growth. European countries have imbibed the idea as well to enjoy the benefits accrued to it.


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    Engie to Build Eight Solar Power Plants in Gabon

    Engie has signed an agreement with CDC, the Gabonese financial institution Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations, to deploy eight hybrid solar power plants in Gabon, Central Africa, representing a combined capacity of 2.2 MW. The implemented solution was developed by Engie’s subsidiary, Ausar Energy in collaboration with CDC, the Gabonese Ministry of Energy, and the Gabonese energy and water company Société d'Énergie et d'Eau du Gabon (SEEG) and means that solar energy can be used in eight locations that are currently supplied by oil-fired thermal power stations. Ausar Energy is a joint venture of ENGIE (50.76%) and the Centum Adetel Group. With construction set to begin in a few weeks, this project will contribute to the Gabonese Republic's proactive policy of using renewable energy – solar and hydropower – to increase the country's energy capacities. The project will save the country 1 million litres of fuel oil per year, or 2,600 tonnes of CO2, and reduce generation costs by 30%.


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    Canadian Solar Partners With ET Energy to Build 132 MWP of Solar Projects in South Africa

    Canadian Solar Inc. (the "Company" or "Canadian Solar") (NASDAQ: CSIQ), one of the world's largest solar power companies today announced it established a joint venture with ET Energy, a global clean energy developer and operator. Together they will provide Engineering, Procurement and Construction ("EPC") services for two solar power projects totaling 132 MWp in South Africa for BioTherm Energy, an independent African power producer. The projects, Aggeneys (46 MWp) and Konkoonsies II (86 MWp), are located in northwest South Africa and cover an immense area of 387 hectares. They are Round IV projects of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP). The two solar power plants are expected to be grid-connected by the end of 2019 and early 2020, respectively. Over 400,000 Canadian Solar's 1500V high voltage modules, CS6U-P, will be installed on single-axis solar tracking systems, with a total of 34 central inverters for the two solar projects. Construction of the projects is expected to start in September 2018.


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    Kenya secures $237 million of U.S. investment in wind power and food

    Kenya has signed agreements with a US company, allowing $237 million (Sh23bn) of investments in wind power and food security. The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) and Kipeto Wind Energy Company signed documents to close a $232 million deal in financing the construction and operation of a 100-megawatt grid-connected wind power plant south of Nairobi. The plant will provide a more reliable source of energy to the national grid and support the US Power Africa Initiative to double the number of people in Sub-Saharan Africa with access to electricity. Mr. Kenyatta said the ‘Big Four agenda’ projects – boosting manufacturing industry, promoting food security, providing affordable housing and universal healthcare coverage – present major opportunities for local and foreign investors. Mr. Kenyatta pointed out that the economy remained buoyant and resilient, registering a 5.5 percent average growth rate over the last five years in spite of acrimonious presidential elections and drought in 2017. U.S. Commerce Secretary Ross and BCIU CEO Peter Tichansky commended Mr. Kenyatta for creating a suitable environment for the private sector to thrive in Kenya.


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    Chad signs a deal with Infraco Africa for a 60MW Djermaya solar project

    The Djermaya solar project, represented by its majority shareholder InfraCo Africa, recently signed a 25-year power purchase agreement with the Ministry of Energy and SNE, the national power utility company. This contract marks a key step in the development of the solar plant as it allows the project to obtain the necessary funds to finance its construction. “The Djermaya solar project is very important for us," said Michel Boukar, Minister of Oil and Energy, on signing the agreement. InfraCo Africa highlighted that the Djermaya solar plant is one of the first projects of autonomous production of solar energy in the country. This pioneering project will be delivered in two phases of 32MW and 28MW in order to allow the Chadian national grid to progressively integrate this new capacity in renewable energy.


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    Mozambique secures loan to explore solar PV, energy storage


    The U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) has awarded a grant to WHN Solar, for a feasibility study to assess the viability of a solar photovoltaic (PV) plant of up to 100MW in Mozambique. The grant was signed off last Friday by Ambassador Dean Pittman, U.S. Ambassador to Mozambique, on behalf of USTDA along with the CEO of WHN Solar, Ntanzi Carrilho at a ceremony in Maputo. WHN Solar selected HDR International, a multidisciplinary engineering, environmental, and consulting firm, to conduct the feasibility study. The study supports the development of the Mozambican grid in the Nacala region, which suffers from a lack of sufficient generation capacity and stability issues.The energy storage component of the project can help stabilise the grid. The plant is planned to be developed in increments of 20Mw to 40MW and includes an associated energy storage facility located on the property of Nacala International Airport in Nampula Province in northeastern of the country.


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    AIIM invests in 800MW of clean power


    African Infrastructure Investment Managers (AIIM), one of Africa’s largest infrastructure-focused private equity fund managers and a member of Old Mutual Alternative Investments (OMAI), has acquired through its IDEAS Managed Fund - stakes in nine new solar and wind power plants in South Africa. When all nine power facilities are fully operational, expected at the end of 2020, they will provide an additional 800MW of renewable energy capacity into South Africa’s national power grid. The power facilities will deliver about 2,425GWh annually, preventing around 2.4 million tonnes of carbon emissions from traditional fossil fuel power plants per annum. When operating at full capacity, they are expected to supply enough green electricity to power about 522,730 medium sized South African homes. This additional clean power capacity has been added under Round 4 of REIPPP, which is committed to securing 2,300MW of new renewable electricity for South Africa’s national grid over the next five years.


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    Ethiopia opens plant to turn waste into energy


    Ethiopia on Sunday inaugurated a power plant which converts waste into energy, next to a filthy open-air dump in Addis Ababa where a landslide last year killed more than 110 people. Named Reppie, the facility is the first of its kind in Africa, according to the government and the British company Cambridge Industries behind the project, and will turn 1,400 tons of waste per day into energy. Ethiopian President Mulatu Teshome said at the ceremony that the country “has been investing extensively in hydro power, geothermal, wind energy and now biomass to boost the manufacturing sector with a supply of clean, renewable energy.” Reppie is located beside a massive dump called Koshe, a slang word for “dirt” in the country’s main Amharic language. There for over 40 years, Koshe serves as the main rubbish tip in Ethiopia’s capital which has a rapidly rising population, currently at more than four million people. A huge landslide killed more than 110 people in March 2017, which scavengers blame on the construction of the incineration plant next door.


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    Juwi bags EPC deals for 250 MW of S African solar projects


    Juwi Renewable Energies, part of renewables developer Juwi Group, has sealed ZAR 3 billion (USD 206m/EUR 181m) worth of contracts to build, operate and maintain 250 MW of solar parks in South Africa. The three engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) deals with private equity fund manager African Infrastructure Investment Managers (AIIM) cover three separate photovoltaic (PV) projects. Those are the 86-MW Waterloo and the 78-MW Bokamoso solar plants, both to be located in North West Province, as well as the 86-MW Droogfontein 2 PV farm in the Northern Cape. Juwi expects to start building the Droogfontein 2 park in the third quarter, while construction at the Bokamoso and Waterloo sites is slated to begin in the last quarter of 2018 and first quarter of 2019, respectively. Following completion, the German firm will deliver operation and maintenance (O&M) services for the facilities for an initial five-year term.


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    Namibia completes installation of its largest PV-plus-storage system


    Namibia has announced it has finished installation of its largest PV-plus-storage system. This is according German EPC company Cronimet who financed, engineered and installed the system with partner OLC Solar Energy. The EPC Company said the solar array will have a system capacity of 150 kW and will power Chobe Water Villas, a lodge complex which also has a 332 kWh battery storage system provided by Qinous to help reduce electricity consumption. Despite favorable solar irradiation, the Namibian solar market is yet to take off. For smaller distributed generation projects, Namibia has a net-metering scheme by which state-owned utility NamPower buys energy at rates pre-negotiated and approved with Namibia’s energy regulator, the Electricity Control Board. In 2016, 68% of Namibia’s electricity supply was imported, primarily from neighboring South Africa. The PV-storage system will be owned and operated by Cronimet as an independent power producer. OLC Energy Services, Cronimet’s joint venture with OLC Solar Energy, will provide operations and maintenance.


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    InfraCo Africa inks 60-MW solar PPA in Chad


    InfraCo Africa has entered into a power purchase agreement (PPA) with the government of Chad for the output of a 60-MWp solar power plant. InfraCo Africa, a company that mobilises private sector participation and investment, said in a statement last week that it has signed the deal with Chad’s energy ministry and national utility La Societe Nationale d’Electricite (SNE). The contract concerns the Djermaya Solar project, which will be realised in two stages -one of 32 MWp and one of 28 MWp. It is being developed by Aldwych Africa Development Limited (AADL) on behalf of InfraCo Africa, and Smart Energies. InfraCo Africa will contribute USD 3 million (EUR 2.6m) to the development of the scheme, while sister company, the Technical Assistance Facility (TAF), will add USD 0.8 million in grants. The EU-Africa Infrastructure Trust Fund (EU-AITF) has allocated EUR 6.35 million for the construction of a transmission line and substation to connect the plant to the grid. The African Development Bank has been confirmed as mandated lead arranger for the solar project.


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    Construction of Phase I of regional power pool project set for completion


    The construction of the Kenya and Ethiopia electricity transmission interconnector is expected to be completed next year, concluding the first phase of the region’s power pool project. According to Kenya’s Energy Principal Secretary Joseph Njoroge, the 1,045 km line is three-quarters complete on the Kenyan side and 90% complete on the Ethiopian side. “We estimate that the entire project will be complete mid next year and will help improve the electricity trade in the East African region,” said Mr Njoroge. The 500kv Ethiopia-Kenya interconnector, funded by the African Development Bank is a high voltage direct current line, with more than 600 km of it being on the Kenyan side and 430 km on the Ethiopian side. “We expected that the line will be able to evacuate 400 MW of power from Ethiopia to Kenya but we have reopened negotiations on the capacity in line with the increasing electricity demand in Kenya,” said Mr Njoroge.


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