Energy

Energy (100)

GE Reaches Half Way Point Of Medupi Power Plant Construction

GE, General Electric Steam Power Systems received a Final Acceptance Certificate from Eskom for the successful testing and transitioning of Medupi Power Station Unit 4. GE's commitment to work with the customer will bring the country's government closer to realizing its energy supply goals.

Upon completion, the power station will produce a total of 4800MW and will be sufficient to meet the electricity needs of 3.5 million households in the country.

This is a major milestone for GE and our customer Eskom as Unit 4 will be the third unit out of six units to be transferred to commercial operation marking the half way point of completing the project.

Once completed in 2020, Medupi will be the fourth-largest coal-fired power plant in the world and the largest in Africa. GE's scope includes 6 full EPC turbine islands, air cooled Condensers and overall project & construction management.

"Our team has been working with Eskom on the Medupi Power Plant since 2007 and our collaboration has achieved significant progress with more than just power supply in South Africa. We have invested over 1 billion rands to empower local businesses and trained over 300 students on technical and engineering skills" says Douglas Beigley Project Director, Medupi Power station.

Enterprise and Supplier development is a critical pillar of the country's Broad Based Economic Empowerment and it speaks to the true empowerment of sustainable business in South Africa.

This investment solidifies GE's long-term commitment to the country's national development plan. Medupi is a shining example of how Africa's power generation needs can be solved through successful public private sector collaboration.

ENGIE Acquires Thermaire Investments And Ampair

ENGIE announces that an agreement was reached with two South African energy services companies, Thermaire Investments and Ampair to acquire 100% of their respective shares.

Together, both companies employ more than 500 people across South Africa, Botswana and Mozambique, and are major players in the HVAC installation and service segment in their respective markets.

Jointly, the acquired companies will form the largest South African HVAC contractor with a strong capacity to export its skills cross-border and into the greater Southern African region.

"We are proud of this first step in the business to business market and excited about jointly exploring further opportunities in the region," says Mohamed Hoosen CEO of ENGIE Southern Africa.

As a global energy company and expert operator in Renewables and Energy Storage, Lighting, Heating and Cooling Systems, and Energy Management and Controls, ENGIE is embarking on an acquisition strategy to grow its presence in the African market.

JP Hargovan, CEO of Thermaire Investments adds: "As one of the oldest established HVAC businesses in Southern Africa, we are thrilled at the prospect of developing and growing our business in line with the greater ENGIE strategy."

Thermaire Investments and Ampair are affiliated companies often working together to offer clients supply, installation and maintenance services within the HVAC industry. They have built strong partnerships with customers in a large variety of activities including power plants, commercial buildings, shopping malls and data centres.

Bob Forbes, CEO of Ampair says: "Ampair is ecstatic at the opportunity to work hand in hand with ENGIE and believes that the value add from the ENGIE company will summersault Ampair into another league.

This, coupled with the new technology being developed within the existing Ampair Group will benefit our existing client base and any new clients that will be introduced by ENGIE going forward.

Furthermore, ENGIE will bring stability to Ampair at a time when Ampair is experiencing in excess of 30% growth based on the employment of top end engineers and technicians."

ENGIE activities in South Africa are currently concentrated on centralised generation assets. This success comes after commissioning of the 670 MW Avon Peaking Power, 335 MW Dedisa Peaking Power, 94 MW Aurora Wind Power and the combined 21 MW Aurora-Rietvlei Solar Power and Vredendal Solar Power Park (Photovoltaics), as well as the ongoing construction of the 100 MW Kathu Solar Park (Concentrated Solar Power).

With Thermaire and Ampair, ENGIE aims to develop a regional platform to offer energy services to the public, industrial and commercial building sectors.

Countries Discuss Global Energy Transformation

More than 350 government representatives from 115 countries — including Ministers and high-level officials — gathered today in Abu Dhabi to attend the 14th Council of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). At the outset of the meeting, the Council re-elected China as Chair of the meeting and Colombia as Vice-Chair.

The Council of IRENA meets twice annually to facilitate cooperation among Members, oversee implementation of the IRENA Work Programme and complete substantive preparations for the Agency’s annual Assembly, which takes place in January, at the outset of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week. 

“We will promote a revolution in energy production and consumption, and build an energy sector that is clean, low-carbon, safe and efficient,” said Council Chair Mr. Zhi Guo, Chief Economist of China’s National Energy Administration, upon his election. “Renewable energy has now become a major part of China’s additional electricity generation, which highlights the impact of clean energy as a substitute.”

At the opening of the Council, IRENA Director-General Adnan Z. Amin said: “Renewable energy has been the cornerstone of growth in the energy industry over the last five years, during which more than half of global capacity additions in the power sector have been from renewable energy. While great progress is underway in the power sector, attention can be turned to the relatively untapped potential that exists to integrate renewable energy into end-use sectors such as transportation, heating and cooling.”

“As the global energy system is undergoing a rapid transition with larger shares of renewable energy, this Council presents Members with the opportunity to set the Agency’s strategic direction towards accelerating this transition to a sustainable energy future,” added Mr. Amin.

During IRENA’s 14th Council, participants will discuss the Agency’s future work as part of the Work Programme and Budget for 2018-2019, and its Medium-term Strategy for 2018-2022. Programmatic discussions will cover increasing the share of renewable energy through Nationally Determined Contributions, and scaling-up renewables deployment through effective project facilitation.

Improving information about modern uses of bioenergy in support of energy transformation, enabling higher shares of variable renewable energy through flexibility options including electricity storage, and accessing funding in the sixth cycle of the IRENA/Abu Dhabi Fund for Development Project Facility, will also be discussed.

Since the last Council meeting in May 2017, IRENA’s Membership has increased by three to 153, with the addition of Lebanon, El Salvador, and Uzbekistan. Nearly 30 additional countries are in the process of becoming Members.

ICD, Shobak Wind Energy Sign $26m Agreements

The Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector ("ICD") and Shobak Wind Energy PSC have signed the facility agreements for a US$26 million Shariah-compliant senior financing to part fund the construction of a 45 MW wind farm (the "Project") in Jordan near the Shobak town municipality,160 km south of Amman.

The balance of the senior financing is being provided by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and Europe Arab Bank (EAB).

The Project Company is majority owned by Alcazar Energy Partners, a UAE-based independent developer active in the Middle East, Africa and Turkey. Alcazar Energy is developing the project in partnership with Hecate Energy LLC, a US-based developer.

The Project, which will deploy 13 wind turbines supplied by Vestas Wind Systems, will be constructed over a 2-year period and have a total cost of approximately US$104 million. Once the Project is operational, the generated power will be sold to the Jordanian National Electricity Power Company (NEPCO) under a long-term power purchase agreement.

The Project will support Jordan in increasing its electricity generation capacity from clean, indigenous and renewable sources and reducing reliance on costly hydrocarbon imports. It will help the country abate more than 100,000 tons of CO2-equivalent per annum, supporting Jordan's emission reduction targets under the Paris Climate Agreement, as well as promoting sustainable energy development and private sector participation in the country's energy landscape.

Mr. Khaled Al-Aboodi, the Chief Executive Officer of ICD, commented: "We are delighted to be part of this success story, and happy to have been able to support Alcazar Energy in this important investment,”
“I would also like to thank the Government of Jordan for their continued support and commitment to this critical sector, and we are looking forward to expanding and deepening our involvement in the country through similar interventions in the very near future.
We are also very pleased to continue our fruitful cooperation with EBRD, as this transaction follows the recent closing of several comparable co-financings in the Arab Republic of Egypt just last month."

Daniel Calderon, Co-Founder and CEO of Alcazar Energy, said: "The Shobak project is another significant milestone for our company to build a sustainable portfolio of assets. By early next year when Shobak construction starts, our portfolio will comprise seven projects in construction or operation in the region. We appreciate the continued support of the government of Jordan, our lenders and investors. Shobak is the first of our projects to be partly funded by a Sharia compliant financing and we are delighted to welcome ICD as a new financing partner."

 

126 Girls Graduate From Eskom Aided Gulu War Affectedtraining Centre

The Gulu War Affected Training Centre, (GWATC), an Eskom Uganda aided Centre which was established in the aftermath of the Northern war has held its seventh graduation ceremony with 127 students (126 girls & 1 boy) receiving certificates in catering, tailoring & hair dressing among other courses offered. 

While officiating at the graduation ceremony on Saturday 25th November 2017 in Gulu town, the Deputy High Commissioner South African Embassy in Uganda, Her Excellency Phumeza Mukedi urged African girls to rise up and take their place at the high table of professionalism. 

Phumeza said African governments recently pronounced joint aspirations for 2023 which looks atdeveloping the potential of women and youth by empowering for prosperity and broadmindedness which will in turn, trigger development in the continent.                                  

Speaking at the same event Eskom Uganda Managing Director Thozama Gangi said Eskom started with initial donation of UGX 200 Million to build classroom blocks for GWATC which was officially opened and handed over to the Director and Board members on January 14th, 2010.  According to Thozama, the company has since continued to offer assistance to the school by offering a sowing machine to the best student on graduation day. 

At the same event, Eskom donated assorted items to boost the hairdressing section of the training centre. The items worth several millions include Hair driers, hair washing sets, sterilizing machines, fans, salon seats and a brand new tent among others.  The overall best Student received a brand new sewing machine. 

Thozama said Eskom’s continued support to the Centre is a demonstration of Eskom’s commitment to continue making a difference in the lives of ordinary people, to ensure their wellbeing is improved. 

“Initially, the Gulu War Affected Training Centre was set up to equip women affected by the 20-year insurgency that ravaged Northern Uganda with Vocational hands-on skills like tailoring, catering and hairdressing to help them get a decent living. With Eskom’s support that vision has come to bear fruits as you can see for yourselves today” Thozama said. 

The founder of the Centre, Ms. Betty Lalam who started with only 5 students in a shop verandah in 2005, showered praises at Eskom Uganda, the Nalubale and Kiira dams Concessionaire for making the school what its today through consistent funding. 

“The People of Gulu and indeed the whole of Acholi Sub region, especially those who have gone through this training centre look at Eskom as God’s messenger, send to wipe tears off our eyes, following the trauma that we went through during the LRA war which ravaged this area. We can never thank them enough. 

Lalam said the fresh graduates are joining 1,913 other beneficiaries who have graduated from the centre since inception and have gone off to start profitable ventures using the skills they acquired at the centre. 

Other humanitarian initiatives activated by Eskom Uganda Limited 

In Environment, Eskom has engineered the planting of over 40,000 trees around Jinja district.

Eskom also partnered with Busoga Development Agency to plant trees along all major roads in Busoga Sub-region.

In Health, Eskom has partnered with local leadership to upgrade and rehabilitate Kimaka Maternity Clinic in Jinja.

Eskom has also equipped the clinic with modern equipment to reduce maternity related risks. We are currently constructing a Placenta Pit to improve the functionality of the unit.

In Education, Eskom has rehabilitated the Njeru Primary school in Buikwe district. We intend to embark on the second phase of the project which includes fencing off the school.

Transferring skills to Ugandans

Hundreds of graduate trainees in Uganda have been absorbed by Eskom to gain hands on experience in hydro generation engineering since commencement of operations.

EUL has continued to offer continuous industrial training of 30 students per annum. In line with government of Uganda’s focus on Skilling Uganda, Eskom is already making a contribution towards taking Uganda to a middle income economy by 2020.

Mobisol 10mw Solar Facility To Benefit 500,000 Tanzanians

Mobisol, a Germany-based provider of decentralized solar solutions, has successfully installed a capacity of 10 MW and electrified over 500,000 people in East Africa to date.

The company fights global climate change by offsetting 50,000 tons of CO2 equivalent per year through smart rent-to-own solar systems, benefitting communities in Tanzania, Rwanda and Kenya.

Mobisol provides solar solutions beyond lighting and focuses on the development and supply of large solar systems that power a range of energy-efficient household and productive use appliances.

While currently distributing business appliances such as multiple phone chargers and barber salon packages, the company plans to increase its offering around productive-use appliances for small and medium enterprises in 2018.

As part of its commercial strategy, Mobisol has recently grown its workforce to develop a number of B2B partnerships and support solar providers in an additional nine countries through their software suite SolarHub, which builds a digital foundation for pay-as-you-go (PAYG) business model.

The company aims to bring partners up to speed fast and increase the scaling of off-grid. Klaus Maier, Mobisol’s Head of Partnerships and Expansion reveals that in the past six years they have revolutionized ‘Innovation made in German’.

“We’ve engineered reliable high-tech solar systems, paired with the most efficient appliances. We’ve developed highly innovative software, allowing for swift management from PAYG services to last mile logistics,”

“Now, we are putting a stronger focus on corporate partnerships, enabling other sustainable businesses to utilise our versatile software solution, save costs and efficiently run their operations, while concentrating on their core business.”

Mobisol’s founder and CEO, Thomas Gottschalk, adds: “We are proud to have reached this important milestone to electrify half a million people in rural East Africa. But it does not end here: Our vision is to help make poverty history by providing sustainable and affordable energy solutions to 20 million people by 2023 – and ultimately to show the world that a cleaner, non-fossil fuel dependent future is possible.

The solutions are out there to sustainably, yet profitably provide energy access to millions of people, empowering people and boosting economies while protecting the global climate.”

Two Off Grid Projects To Electrify Rural Communities In Nigeria

The first project - headed up by Pan Africa Solar– is an 80MW utility scale Photovoltaic Power Plant located in Katsina State, near the town of Kankia.

The project focuses on a stable state in the north of the country, where – due to lack of available hydro resources and gas supply – renewables are the only long term sustainable option.

The project will integrate panels mounted on tilting structures that track the path of the sun throughout the day, constructed on 210 hectares of land.

BBOXX is collaborating with Pan Africa Solar on a second project supplying the distributed energy service that is operating in Kano State, Northern Nigeria, with hopes to expand across the country.

BBOXX's VP of Business Development, Anshul Patel said Pan Africa Solar is a dedicated team with a core understanding of the Nigerian market; a very exciting BBOXX partner in a much underserved market. Nigeria has 60 million people who lack access to electricity.

“To date, 2000 people have been impacted by our work in Kano, and the business is currently in the process of scaling its operations. The partnership between BBOXX and PAS is instrumental in leveraging expertise in the off-grid business combined with local market knowledge to successfully scale operations with a goal of electrifying 1 million people by 2020."

EnergyNet launched the Off the Grid Club initiative in 2016 to provide a networking platform for off grid technology providers, financiers and regional leaders working in Africa's off grid industry.

The membership programme collaborates with partners such as the Shell Foundation, ElectriFi, Akon Lighting Africa and Solektra in developing and financing off grid projects to electrify rural communities in Africa. 

From 6 – 8 February 2018, off grid developments will be discussed by energy leaders in Kampala, Uganda at the Africa Energy Forum: Off the Grid Summit - held with the endorsement of Her Excellency Irene Muloni, Minister of Energy and Mineral Development of Uganda.

This meeting is co-located with the regional East Africa Energy & Infrastructure Summit. Both meetings will unite governments from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda and Ethiopia, leading utility and regulatory companies from the region as well as international financiers, donor organisations and power developers to focus on what is needed to unlock investment in energy for regional growth.

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.

ADFD, IRENA Open New Round Of Funding For Renewable Energy Projects

The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), in partnership with the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD), is inviting applications for renewable energy projects in developing countries.

Within the framework of the ADFD-funded US$350 million (AED1.285 billion) IRENA/ADFD Project Facility, the current funding round of US$50 million in concessional loans marks the sixth of seven annual cycles.

“In just the last few years, renewable energy has emerged as one of the most economical choices for new power generation in countries around the globe. Accelerated renewable energy deployment in developing countries expands access to energy, improves health and welfare, creates jobs and drives economic growth,” said IRENA Director-General Adnan Z. Amin.

“This new funding cycle provides greater opportunity for developing countries to access low cost capital for renewable energy projects to drive the energy transformation and achieve sustainable development. The continued partnership between ADFD and IRENA connects a stable and reputable source of funding to places where it can have the most impact and where financing is one of the greatest challenges.”

For his part, His Excellency Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, Director General of ADFD, said: “Since the announcement of the first funding cycle of the IRENA/ADFD Project Facility back in 2014, this unique partnership has continued to support replicable, scalable and economically feasible renewable energy projects in developing countries.”

He added: “The five previous cycles have attracted a host of impressive, innovative and sustainable projects that go a long way in enhancing energy security worldwide. Following their contibution in advancing the global sustainability mandate, we are delighted to open funding for the sixth cycle and continue our journey of socio-economic growth.”

Funding from ADFD, provided through the IRENA/ADFD Project Facility, offers sustainable and affordable energy to millions of people with limited or no access to electricity. In the first four cycles, the Facility allocated US$189 million to 19 renewable energy ventures across the globe, covering up to 50 per cent of the project costs. The loan approval process saw ADFD and IRENA conduct a thorough assessment of entries in close collaboration to select projects that best fulfilled the eligibility criteria.

The ventures funded in the first four cycles will bring online more than 100 megawatts of renewable energy capacity and improve the livelihoods of over a million people through providing better access to energy.

Spanning Asia, Africa, Latin America and Small Island Developing States, the projects span the complete spectrum of alternative energy sources – wind, solar, hydro, geothermal and biomass – and utilize a wide range of systems, such as hybrid, off-grid, mini-grid and on-grid including backup storage.

The projects selected for the fifth funding cycle will be announced in January 2018. Applications for the sixth cycle will be accepted until 17:00 GST on February 15, 2018.

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."

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