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Earth Finds

CNOOC Bunyoro Amasaza Cup Kicks Off

By Busiinge George,

CNOOC Uganda Limited, an oil and gas exploration and production company, on Thursday unveiled a Shs100 million sponsorship of the CNOOC Amasaza Cup 2017. This marks 6 year of the company’s support towards the tournament which has attracted various counties in Bunyoro  Kitara Kingdom.

These counties include, Kagadi, Kakumiro, Kiryandongo, Buliisa, Hoima, Masindi and Kibaale.

The tournament was launched by His majesty King of Bunyoro Solomon Gafabusa Iguru and the Queen Mother Karunga Margret Adyeeri in Kakumiro County in Kakumiro district.

The football tournament aims at advancing the glory and culture of the Bunyoro Kitara kingdom through sports in the region.

CNOOC’s continued investment in the Amasaza Cup is part of the company’s corporate social responsibility and underlines its willingness to the development of vocational skills, education and talent through sports.

Speaking at the kick off, Aminah Bukenya, the public relations supervisor CNOOC Uganda Limited stated that this is the sixth time since CNOOC started sponsoring the Amasaza Cup in Bunyoro region.

BUkenya added that sponsoring the Bunyoro Amasaza Cup for the sixth year is a demonstration of CNOOC Uganda’s dedication to the growth of sports and development of talent in this region. This year the tourney has attracted 13 counties of Bunyoro region.

Emphasizing CNOOC Uganda’s dedication to various efforts , Bukenya noted that the company has supported the education and health sectors both in Hoima and the rest of the country.

Zakalia Lubega the CSR and Social Performance Manager at CNOOC Uganda Limited added that CNOOC Uganda Limited has dedicated its efforts and resources to the development of Bunyoro through an active CSR programme that supports Environment protection initiatives, education, Health, Sports and Talent development.

The King of Bunyoro, Solomon Gafabusa Iguru, expressed his gratitude towards the oil company’s continued commitment to his kingdom and invited his subjects to support CNOOC in its developments of the area.

The King proved that CNOOC is a very good neighbor to the people of Bunyoro Kitara and ‘supports the growing of our people through all major aspects such as education, health skills and talent development’.

CNOOC Uganda became a major player in Uganda’s oil and gas sector in February 2012 following the acquisition of significant interest in the exploration blocks in the Albertine region.

CNOOC is the operator of kingfisher oil field, which was awarded a production license in September 2013 .

East Africa’s Huge Potential Continues To Excite Energy Experts

Huge potential, unlimited opportunities – this is how energy experts in the region describe the East African power sector. A required investment of approximately $93 billion per annum needed to address East Africa's power and infrastructure needs opens up exciting business opportunities for suppliers and solution providers from across the globe.

Future Energy East Africa, with the official support of the Kenyan Ministry of Energy and Petroleum, will once again host many of the region's leading energy decision makers from 29 – 30 November 2017 at the Safari Park Hotel in Nairobi.

Formerly known as the East African Power Industry Convention (EAPIC) the event boasts both a strategic conference and a large trade exhibition which provides a platform for public and private stakeholders to engage in discussions around the future of the East African energy sector, giving stakeholders the opportunity to benchmark their operations, challenges and achievements against their peers and seek suppliers who are looking to gain access to projects across the region.

Leading energy experts and industry suppliers who are excited about the region's potential and opportunities in the sector that will be at Future Energy East Africa include: "The electricity industry in this region is one of the fastest developing on the continent and Future Energy East Africa presents the perfect opportunity to showcase our products, services and expertise to a key growth market. We have been participating in EAPIC for many years and we are excited to see the event develop after its rebranding as Future Energy East Africa this year." - Connie Ochola, Regional Marketing Manager, Sub-Saharan Africa, Lucy Electric, returning platinum sponsors.

"The smart money is on East Africa, Africa's new economic powerhouse is taking root in Eastern Africa, with Ethiopia and Kenya taking the lead, and Tanzania and Uganda reinforcing this emerging regional cluster of more than 300 million people." - Lukas Duursema, CEO, Siemens Eastern Africa, platinum sponsors.

"Energy access related start-ups have been among the most prominent of the start-up scene in the recent years in East Africa. Kenya in particular is a commendable player in the African innovation and entrepreneurship market. The number of start-ups being born and entrepreneurs being developed here reflect this." - Paras Patel, Investment Manager, Energy Access Ventures, Kenya and part of a panel discussion on the potential of mini grids at Future Energy East Africa.

"I dream of the day when all our school kids will do their evening homework using electricity. Our main opportunities lie in the upscaling of the production of renewable energy. With the decreasing costs of storage batteries, distributed generation will go a long way in ensuring that all citizens of East Africa have access to clean and reliable energy." - Mbae Ariel Mutegi, Chief Engineer, Network Audit, Kenya Power and panelist at Future Energy East Africa. 

"Both generation and distribution of energy in East Africa are markets to watch closely over the near future. Access to energy certainly represents a major opportunity in the region and, in my opinion, solving the issues around making mini-grids economically viable is at the core of unlocking that opportunity. Furthermore, there are few credible players with on-ground experience in this space, which makes it a particularly exciting time to be involved." - Riccardo Ridolfi, the Head of Business Development for Absolute Energy Capital (AEC) and discussion panellist at Future Energy East Africa.

  • Published in Energy
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Germany Backs Renewable Energy Projects In Africa With New Facility

KfW, the German Development Bank, and the African Trade Insurance Agency (ATI) announced, on the side lines of the annual Africa Investment Exchange: Power and Renewables Meeting, a new instrument to support renewable energy projects in sub-Saharan Africa that targets small- and mid-scale (up to 50 MW) green power renewable energy projects.

The facility is designed to provide a viable solution to one of the biggest challenges facing independent power producers (IPPs) operating in Africa, specifically the requirement to provide project lenders with a liquidity guarantee.

The German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) through KfW will provide funding of up to 32.9 million EUR to the facility, which aims to enable small-and mid-scale renewable energy projects in Africa to reach financial close by addressing liquidity requirements that lenders frequently require in order to fund such projects.

The launch of the new facility is happening at an opportune moment when emerging markets are seeing record investments in the renewable energy sector. The International Energy Agency (IEA) expects sub-Saharan Africa's renewables capacity to grow by 73% (24.4GW) over the period 2017-22.

In addition, small-scale projects are seen as a potential solution to Africa's energy deficit because they are easier to implement and can target energy requirements at source, but these projects find it difficult to access the type of guarantees needed to reach financial closure.

The facility will kick in by providing immediate liquidity to keep the IPP afloat during periods of payment delays that are beyond the grace period provided in the power purchase agreement.

Günther Nooke, Personal Representative of the German Chancellor for Africa, BMZ, said "The Regional Liquidity Support Facility will address a key challenge in renewable energy project finance and de-risk private sector investments. We are pleased to provide the funding to this innovative instrument underlining Germany's commitment to the objectives of the African Renewable Energy Initiative (AREI)."

The RLSF is designed to help independent power producers (IPPs) developing renewable energy projects in Africa to obtain the liquidity they need in the event that their off-taker (frequently a state owned entity) delays payment. The facility will provide immediate cash collateral supported by guarantees to a commercial bank that will in turn open a standby letter of credit to the benefit of the IPP. The amount provided will enable the IPP to operate and service the debt for up to 6 months. Furthermore, unlike most IPP letters of credit (which tend to be 12 month tenors) the facility is designed to be in place for multiple years.

Dr. Thomas Duve, KfW Director Southern Africa and Regional Funds, noted "We highly appreciate the opportunity to partner with ATI on this innovative instrument. The RLSF is a strongly market-driven concept, emphasizing KfW's strategy to support and leverage the resources of local partners and the private sector."

The facility, in combination with ATI's traditional suite of political and trade credit risk insurance products (in particular ATI's arbitration award default cover), means that ATI is able to cover the full range of political and financial risks facing investors on such projects.

Speaking at the launch, John Lentaigne, ATI's Chief Underwriting Officer commented "We are delighted to be working with the German government, represented by KfW, on an initiative that directly targets one of the main bottlenecks preventing green power projects from being financed in Africa."

Jef Vincent, Senior Advisor to ATI, who has overall responsibility for the initial implementation of the facility, added "Unlike some of the alternative solutions to the liquidity issue, ATI's guarantee (as provided via the RLSF) will not require a counter-guarantee from the relevant Ministry of Finance, and as such we are confident this will be a very useful tool for those projects that we expect to support."

  • Published in Energy
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GE's Hardware And Digital Upgrades Help Increase Efficiency At Azito Power Plant In Ivory Coast

To improve performance and provide valuable insights and visibility into plant and turbine operations, GE's Power Services announced it has signed an agreement with Azito Energie S.A. to upgrade two gas turbines at the company's combined-cycle power plant.

GE's hardware upgrade and Operations Optimization digital solutions will help increase power output by up to 30 megawatts (MW) and will equip Azito with the insights it needs to increase efficiency and improve operations at the power plant. The project, located in the Yopougon district of Ivory Coast, marks GE's first GT13E2 MXL2 gas turbine upgrade order in Sub-Saharan Africa.

"As the electricity sector has undergone significant reform in Ivory Coast, new regulations have helped foster a more welcoming environment to help Ivorians gain access to electricity," said Luc Aye, managing director of Azito Energie. "At the center of this agreement with GE is our commitment to provide the people of Ivory Coast with access to more reliable electricity. With GE's upgrade package and digital solutions, we will produce more power, improve the efficiency of the plant and reduce our carbon footprint."

In addition to increasing power output by up to 30 MW, upgrades on the turbines are expected to deliver a combined-cycle efficiency increase, resulting in significant fuel savings and reduced CO2 emissions. GE's solutions will also extend inspection intervals for the gas turbines, reducing maintenance and repair expenses—which, in turn, will reduce overall plant costs and result in improving profitability.

"With the Azito power plant producing more than a third of the electricity in Ivory Coast, these improvements will have a wide-reaching impact on the country's energy landscape" said Elisee Sezan, general manager, GE's Power Services business for Sub-Saharan Africa.

"Until two decades ago, the country was heavily reliant upon hydroelectric power and fell into an energy crisis when the electricity output from its dams was drastically reduced due to droughts. With this project, we look forward to supporting Azito Energie in its efforts to help Ivory Coast achieve its strategic energy objectives to increase existing plants' efficiency and double the installed capacity it had in early 2013 by 2020."

The installation of GE's Predix*-based Operations Optimization solution will provide numerous operational benefits at the Azito plant. Slated for installation in mid-2018, the software will equip Azito with deep insights and key performance indicator (KPI)-based analytics to help improve overall plant performance.

It delivers enterprise data visibility across power plant and fleet-wide footprints, providing a holistic understanding of operational decisions. The solution also can provide operational benefits such as: 

Improved reliability and availability via enhanced predictivity.

More accurate performance monitoring and forecasting.

Dispatch enhancement via improved visibility into plant capability.

Lower production costs and asset generation forecasting for improved asset dispatch.

"With GE's Operations Optimization software, Azito will be able to improve productivity across its worldwide fleet with fact-based actions that align to KPIs," said Narendra Asnani, Executive Sales Director, GE's Power Services business for Sub-Saharan Africa. "It will also enable them to tackle operational issues, meet business demand, align people and systems, and reach true plant capacity while reducing cost and downtime." 

GE is a historical player and a pioneer in Ivory Coast, particularly in the power sector. For example, the first ever gas turbines (Vridi, 1984), the first independent power production project (Ciprel, 1994) and the first combined-cycle power plants in the country (Azito and Ciprel, 2015) all run mainly on GE technology.

In 2015, the company demonstrated its commitment to help bolster the Ivorian power sector to meet future demand increases and challenges with the signing of a cross-sector Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Government of Ivory Coast.

In the MoU, GE agreed to support the country in attaining its infrastructure development goals, which include adding 1 gigawatt of power to the Ivorian national grid.

  • Published in Africa
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