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Mozambique’s 450MW Gasfired Power Plant Now Certain of Going Ahead

By Macson Obojemiummen

A substantial portion of the debt funding requirements have been secured for the Central Termica de Temane (CTT) power project in Mozambique.

CTT will receive funding of up to $200Million from the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) and up to $50Million from the OPEC Fund for International Development (OPEC Fund) once execution of the loan agreements and other closing conditions have been finalised. The International Finance Corporation is expected to provide the balance of the required debt financing and is in the process of finalizing its approvals.

The technical solution for the project has also been finalised.  Through a competitive procurement process, the Spanish contractor, TSK, has been selected to design and construct the power plant, “which will use efficient and well-proven Siemens gas turbines”, Globeeq, a power developer, says  in a note. “TSK has extensive experience in designing similarly-sized combined-cycle power plants utilizing the Siemens turbines”.

The 450 MW gas-fired power project is located at Temane in Inhambane Province in Mozambique.

Originally developed by  Electricidade de Moçambique, E.P. (EDM)  and Sasol New Energy Holdings, Globeleq is lead developer along with its consortium partner, eleQtra in the Temane Energy Consortium (TEC).

The project will supply low cost, reliable power to EDM through a 25-year tolling agreement using natural gas supplied from the Pande-Temane fields operated by Sasol and ENH, the state-owned hydrocarbon company.  TEC will also provide support to EDM in the development of the Temane Transmission Project.

EDM selected TEC in December 2017 as part of a competitive bidding process. “EDM chose the consortium due to its experience developing and operating gas-fired power projects; competitive cost of capital; and ability to deliver the most competitive tariff”, Globeleq claims in a release.

A joint development agreement was signed on 20 June, 2018 to progress the development of the project and bring it to financial close.

On 28 August, 2019, the Government of Mozambique signed financing documents for the Temane Regional Energy Project.


Egypt’s lagging Transmission Upgrade Cramps the Gains of Electricity Generation

By Toyin Akinosho

Some 27,000MW of energy out of the 58,000MW generation capacity, cannot be delivered to the final consumers

Egypt embarked on an accelerated increase in electricity generation from 2015.

Now the country produces 58,000MW of electricity, ousting the power cuts that were severe between 2011 and 2014.

But the large surplus of supply, even during peak demand in the summer, has not totally annulled the blackouts around the country. Power outage stubbornly remains because transmission capacity has lagged behind generation increase.

Part of the problem is that the jump in generation was delivered by the government, without a comprehensive reform that ensures private parties contributing to generation, transmission and distribution at the same time.

The Electricity Ministry speedily added more than 28,000 MW in six years, through 27 power plants, excluding the (vast solar power plant) Benban park, which by November 2019, was producing almost 1,500MW.

The frenetic pace in increase in generation left transmission and distribution capacity in the dust, such that 40% of the total generation cannot be picked up by the relatively more outdated transmission and distribution infrastructure.

In effect, some 27,000MW of energy out of the 58,000MW generation capacity, cannot be delivered to the final consumers. Besides, operational and equipment inefficiencies keep some 4% of energy away.

The Egyptian government has been playing catch up with transmission and distribution infrastructure build out.

The Electricity Ministry built transmission lines between 2014 and 2018 extending over 2,600kilometres, the ministry spokespersons say. That’s equivalent to the total lines established over the previous five decades. “The grid had been built, starting from the 1960s, with a total length of less than 2,000 kilometres”, Mohamed Shaker, the Minister of Electricity & Renewable Energy, told the American Chamber of Commerce in February 2018. “We are constructing over 2,000kilometres, using a Chinese company, the largest in the world, as well some local companies.”

But that is not enough. The Ministry has spent   more than $1.6Billion (EGP 25Billion) between 2018-2020 to upgrade the transmission grid, and is now planning to invest another $765Milllion (EGP 12Billion) during the current fiscal year, $35Million (EGP 555Million) of which is going towards Greater Cairo alone, the Ministry claims. The target is extension of total transmission lines to 6,006km, by end of 2020, a situation which raises the maximum load to 32,000MW — a 600 MW or 1.87% increase.

Mr. Shaker’s ministry’s 2018-2021 plan called for reducing electricity loss from 4.07% in 2018-2019 to 3.82% in 2019-2020 and to 3.8% in FY2020-21. These losses were common due to the poor-performing transmission and distribution lines, in addition to consumers obtaining electricity illegally by linking houses to distribution lines directly without a meter to count consumption, thus avoiding paying of dues.

The government also says it is replacing more than 30km of medium-voltage overhead lines at a cost of $2Million (EGP 30Million). Africa Oil+Gas Report could not verify the ministry’s claim that this project, on its own, has led to a 25% decrease in blackouts. There are also plans to build a “parallel core grid”, of around 500 m of transmission lines as a safety gap to improve the service and reduce loads on the main network.

Work is also going on to replace overhead lines with underground cables. Projects are far more advanced in heavily populated areas, such as Cairo.

Despite Egypt’s significant success in increasing generation, there are areas, including East Owinat, Marsa Alm, Halayeb and Shalatin, which are outside of the grid. The government says it plans to extend electricity lines to some of those areas, but the details are hazy.

The current grid for the most part relies on outdated technologies that incur major maintenance costs and make identifying the causes of interruptions difficult. Whenever a power interruption occurrs, electricity distribution companies have to wait for consumers to report the problem. Once they receive a complaint, they investigate the cause, and either find a quick fix or order a reroute of the line — altogether an exhausting and time-consuming operation.

Egypt’s electricity ministry is also talking about is smart meters. “We are going to have our distribution network to be a smart grid”, Shaker told the American Chamber of Commerce in Cairo. One Million, Two hundred and fifty thousand smart meters were under construction, he said.

It takes a lot more effort, than just constructing smart metes, to effect a smart grid, which allows utilities and customers to receive information from and communicate with the grid.

The Egyptian government has moved far slower to work on transmission and distribution of electricity than it has done on generation. Mr. Shaker’s presentations to the American Chamber of Commerce in Cairo in February 2018 and June 2019, which were published by Africa Oil+Gas Report, were both loud on the work on generation and relatively quiet on the achievements in transmission. But Egypt, more than any other in Africa, is keeping its eyes on the electricity ball.

This piece was originally published in the September 2020 edition of the monthly Africa Oil+Gas Report. It’s one of few select articles that make it from paid subscription service to the free newsletter


Kenya Reduces Electricity Outages by 50% in Four Years

Kenya’s Ministry of Energy says that the average time customers are shut out of power supply per month has reduced from four hours per month in 2016 to one hour, 40 minutes in 2020.

Response time to outages has also improved, the data says. Over the same period, the number of hours, on average, that customers are cut off supply to fix power lines has dropped from seven to four.

These numbers concern the segment of the population that are connected to publicly generated electricity.

Kenya has a population of 48 Million people, according to 2019 data from the country’s National Bureau of Statistics. A 2019 International Energy Agency (IEA) report says that 75% of Kenyans have access to electricity.  It also says that over 95% of urban dwelling Kenyans have access, but 66% of rural Kenyans have access.

Kenya’s current effective installed (grid connected) electricity capacity is 2,651 MW, with peak demand of 1,912 MW, as of November 2019. At that time, demand was rising at a calculated rate of 3.6% annually, given that peak demand was 1,770 MW, at the beginning of 2018.

It’s curious how 75% of 48 Million people, which is 36Million, could find less than 2,000MW of electricity generation adequate.

But just five years ago, only 41% of the Kenyan population had access to electricity, according to the IEA report.

Charles Keter, Kenya’s Energy Cabinet Secretary, says the country has invested in measures to reduce power outages and is looking to have a utility that assures its customers of reliable power in the next few years.

The Energy ministry claims that Kenya Power has invested some $645Million improving its distribution infrastructure by constructing new substations and undergrounding of power lines to reduce interferences that cause outages.

 

 


Tripartite Meeting Resumes on Ethiopia’s Giant Hydroelectric Project

Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan have resumed negotiations on Ethiopia’s Renaissance Dam, in Khartoum, capital of Sudan.
A meeting between the three countries’ irrigation ministers, an AU representative, and AU chair South Africa’s foreign minister took place Sunday, August 16, 2020.
Although the giant dam is largely for Ethiopia’s electricity supply, the meeting brings together the irrigation and foreign ministers from the three countries.
The ministers will sit again on Tuesday, August 18, with Nalendi Pandor, South Africa’s foreign minister, who is representing Africa Union chair South African President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Ethiopia has been building the Renaissance Dam on the Blue Nile since 2011, a project that has become a source of intense tension between Addis Ababa on the one hand, and Cairo and Khartoum on the other hand. This dam is expected to become the largest water-powered generation facility in Africa.
The 6,000 MW dam is to have a power generation of 16,153 GWh per annum through 16 generating units with 375 MW nameplate capacity each.

The initial filling of the reservoir has been a sticky point in the conversations. Ethiopia has insisted it will not accept negotiations that will lead to “legally binding” on the initial filling arrangements as they limit the country’s fair and equitable access to the Nile.


US Agency Awards Grant for Solar, Hydro Power in Northern Nigeria

The US Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) has awarded a grant to Konexa Energy for studies into solar power supply in parts of Northern Nigeria.

The support will enable technical and financial studies to be carried out. The studies will also address the regulatory and legal requirements of the mini-grids project. The American agency, which has shown keen interest in energy supplies in Nigeria, did not specify the amount of its subsidy.

Konexa, a new, renewable energy company with offices in London and Abuja, plans to generate 2.5 MW of electricity from several solar photovoltaic systems in Kaduna, in Nigeria’s northwest. “This project will support the development of critical energy infrastructure and an innovative business model to improve the generation, transmission and distribution of electricity in Nigeria, as well as to improve the supply of electricity to off-grid customers,” says Thomas R. Hardy, acting director of the USTDA.

The small solar power plants will be installed to supply mini power grids serving residential (household), commercial and industrial customers in Kaduna State in northern Nigeria.

Hardy says that the grant will also to support the acquisition of 30 MW of hydropower capacity from an existing but decommissioned plant. The electricity will be distributed through the Konexa grid. The USTDA grant is part of Prosper Africa, a U.S. government initiative to increase two-way trade and investment between the United States and Africa.

The company selected for the studies will carry out the environmental and social impact studies, assist in the selection of the meters and thus provide an analysis of the expected impacts of the development of the mini-grids.


South African Cement Producer to Build A Power Plant in Zimbabwe

Pretoria Portland Cement (PPC) is mobilizing finance to build and operate a 32 MW photovoltaic solar power plant in Colleen Bawn, in Zimbabwe’s Matabeleland South Province.

The Johannesburg based company has picked a Solar Power supplier for the project, the construction of which is expected to last around 18 months.

Half of the electricity produced will be used to power PPC’s facilities and the other half will be fed into Zimbabwe’s national electricity grid.

Zimbabwe is chronically short of electricity, with the country’s power utility supplying only around 1,000MW, to a population of 15 million people.

But Solar Energy solutions have become hugely popular in the southern African country in the last two years, such that more than 100 000 solar power systems are installed in homes across Zimbabwe, according to figures from the Ministry of Energy.

And companies are now turning to off grid independent solar energy. Last April,  the Caledonia Mining Corporation, which operates the Blanket gold mine, also in Matabeleland South Province, issued a call for tenders for a 19.65 MW solar project.

 


Egypt, Ethiopia Far from a Truce over Massive Hydroelectric Project

An agreement is still quite far-fetched between the three countries in the conflict over the largest hydroelectric power project in Africa.

Egypt’s Irrigation ministry says that the current round of negotiations, which concludes Friday, is not heading anywhere.

Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan have been in talks regarding the impact on the flow of water in the River Nile, from the construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) by Ethiopia.

At 6,450MW, the dam, formerly known as the Millennium Dam, will be the largest hydroelectric power plant in Africa, when completed.

Located in the country’s Benishangul-Gumuz Region, 15km east of the border with Sudan, it will also be the seventh largest in the world.

The gravity dam on the Blue Nile River has been under construction since 2011.

As of October 2019, the work stood at approximately 70% completion., but the filling of the reservoir, scheduled to begin in July 2020, is what is being held up by complaints from Egypt, which insists that the work will drain away large volume of water from its own section of the river.

An emergency meeting and videoconference of the Executive Council of the African Union, chaired by the South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, a week ago, resulted in considerable ease of tension.

After the talks, Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan agreed to postpone the impoundment of the gigantic dam.

Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok said in a statement that it had been “agreed that the filling of the dam would be postponed until an agreement was reached”.

Mr. Hamdok added that “Sudan is one of the main beneficiaries of the dam, but also one of the big losers if the risks are not limited, which is why it reminds Egypt and Ethiopia of the absolute need to find a solution, “.

The Nile, which flows over some 6,000 km, is an essential source of water and electricity for a dozen countries in East Africa. Egypt gets 97% of its water needs from this river.

 


Cameroon’s Gas to Power Market in Distress

By Sully Manope

The Cameroonian electricity company ENEO (Energy of Cameroon), has announced a 32.6% drop in the production of thermal power stations in the country in the first quarter of 2020.

The reduction (compared with production during the same period in 2019), was due to rationing carried out “at some power stations because of a fuel shortage caused by enormous cash constraints.

ENEO has been unable to pay companies that supply gas to its generators (including Victoria Oil &Gas) as well as companies that generate power from natural gas (Globeleq, Aggreko).

Altaaqa, which supplied the generator ENEO used to convert gas to electricity at Logbagba, in Douala City, suspended operations at ENEO’s Logbaba site in September 2019.

Production capacities at Aggreko operated generating plants at Maroua and Bertoua decreased by almost 60% during the period under review, ENEO reports. Generation from Globeleq operated Kribi and Dibamba gas-fired plants also fell drastically.

This drop in thermal energy production, was, very slightly, offset by increased hydropower production, which had an uptick of 3%.

Overall, the Song Loulou and Edéa hydroelectric plants, both on the Sanaga River, provided 65% of Cameroon’s energy supply over the period.

 


AfDB Sanctions Danish Contractor for Fraudulent Practices in a Power Project

By Foluso Ogunsan

The African Development Bank Group has debarred Burmeister & Wain Scandinavian Contractor, for a period of 21 months, “for engaging in sanctionable practices in a power generation project financed by the Bank in Mauritius.”, the Bank said earlier today.

In 2014 and 2015, Burmeister & Wain participated in tenders for the redevelopment of the Saint Louis power plant in Mauritius, a project financed by the Bank.

”An investigation conducted by the Bank’s Office of Integrity and Anti-Corruption has concluded that it is more likely than not that the company engaged in fraudulent and corrupt practices in the context of this project”, the AfDB explained in a release.

”Evidence supports a finding that Burmeister & Wain, on a balance of probabilities, financially rewarded members of the Mauritian administration and others, through the intermediary of third parties, for providing access to confidential tender-related information which allowed them to tailor the technical specifications of the tenders to its offering, thus gaining an undue competitive advantage over other tenderers. Burmeister & Wain further concealed the arrangements it had entered into with the third parties, in breach of the rules governing the tenders”.

The debarment imposed by the Bank renders Burmeister & Wain ineligible to participate in Bank-financed projects and thus to benefit from its financing during the debarment period. The 21 months debarment qualifies for cross-debarment by other multilateral development banks pursuant to the Agreement for Mutual Enforcement of Debarment Decisions. According to this agreement, debarments longer than 12 months pronounced by any of its signatories, including the African Development Bank, the Asian Development Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Inter-American Development Bank and the World Bank Group, are recognized and imposed in the same way by its other signatories.

By imposing a debarment of 21 months, AfDB says, “the Office of Integrity and Anti-Corruption recognizes Burmeister and Wain’s extensive cooperation with the investigation, the company’s transparency in dealing with the sanctionable conduct and the efforts that it has made to enhance its integrity compliance program since uncovering the sanctionable practices.

“The Bank will release Burmeister & Wain from debarment at the expiry of the debarment period, subject to a successful review and clearance of the company’s enhanced integrity compliance program by the Bank”.

 


Cameroon’s Power Utility Pushes its Gas Supplier into the Red

ENEO was once a key reason for Gaz du Cameroun (GDC) to dream big.

Seven years ago, the Cameroonian power utility promised an offtake of double the size of gas that the factories and other firms in Douala could readily demand from GDC, as the latter constructed pipelines and other infrastructure to incentivize consumption of gas in the country’s main commercial city.

But now ENEO (short for Energy of Cameroon), has fallen far behind in payment. The gross amount outstanding from the utility as at 31 December 2019 was $10.5Million, a significant debit in the balance sheet of a small player with production hardly exceeding six million standard cubic feet of gas per day 6MMscf/d.

The Logbagba gas field near Douala is GDC’s source of gas.

 As far back as 14 September 2019, Altaaqa, the generator supplier to ENEO, suspended operations at ENEO’s Logbaba site due to non-payment of invoices by ENEO.

GDC had continued to invoice ENEO based on take-or-pay provisions agreed to in the binding term sheet.

In April 2020, GDC announced that ENEO had arranged “payment of Four Invoices amounting to a net total of $2.9Million to GDC via “promissory notes” in the quarter”. That comes to no more than $4.2Million gross, but there is still a significant value of unpaid invoice to go.

ENEO’s default in paying a hydrocarbon producer is contrary to the new normal in Africa, where monopoly utilities and state hydrocarbon companies have general turned the corner in their attitude to paying debts owed to hydrocarbon producers in their countries.

Tanzania’s state hydrocarbon company TPDC and state power monopoly TANESCO pay gas producers more promptly. Egypt’s EGAS has improved terms of gas tariffs and annulled its debts significantly. Nigeria’s NNPC, though not exactly comparable as its case is joint venture agreements, has almost extinguished cash call arrears.

What makes the ENEO example particularly odd is that it is not an entirely state-owned company. It is majorly owned (51%) by Actis, the British investor and 44% owned by the Government of Cameroon. ENEO employees own a 5% stake. It is indeed an outlier of an example.

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