Earth Finds

Earth Finds

Rosatom SMR Solutions For Sub-Saharan Africa

There has been widespread interest in the development of civil nuclear programs in Africa. Nuclear power plants are cheaper to run than their coal or gas rivals even if we factor in spent nuclear fuel management and disposal.

Other important advantage is regularity of nuclear power supply: contrary to renewable source of energy which are dependable on the weather conditions.

Africa, and Sub-Saharan Africa in particular, has never been viewed as a robust market for nuclear power. With the emergence of small modular reactors (SMRs) technology, nuclear increases its chances to be considered as a feasible option to address regional energy needs in a low carbon and stable energy generation with predictable costs.

SMRs offer unique benefits such as easy grid connection, flexibility in terms of placement, multipurpose application and possible integration with renewables. They can be a good alternative to diesel generators providing reliable power supply and preventing harmful emissions at a competitive price. One more advantage is that they offer lower capital investment which can be crucial point while taking a decision of their deployment.

The latest developments of in this area feature Russian RITM series SMR designed for nuclear icebreakers, land-based small NPPs, and floating nuclear power plants. It is based on times proved pressurized water reactor (PWR) technology and Rosatom 400 reactor-years of experience in operation of small modular reactors.

This advanced technology incorporates all the best features from its predecessors – ship reactors. Rosatom has already constructed six RITM series reactors by now. RITM-200 reactors have already been manufactured and installed on Arktika, Sibir and Ural nuclear icebreakers. The technology has proven its efficiency and ultimate safety throughout all stage of the life cycle including radioactive waste management.

At present, Rosatom is working on the optimized version of the floating nuclear power plant based on RITM series reactors. Recently in May 2020, the Russian nuclear state corporation has fully commissioned its first floating nuclear power plant Akademik Lomonosov with two KLT-40 reactors that in a pair produce up to 77 MW of electricity. KLT-40 is a predeсessor of RITM series SMR. FNPP Akademik Lomonosov is the northernmost nuclear power plant in the world that provides electricity to the isolated Chaun-Bilibino network in Pevek, Chukotka, Russia’s Far East. 

“We are working hard to do our part in delivering the great stories from our industry, to highlight its true potential to become a catalyst for sustainable development in Africa. We all understand that nuclear will play a vital role in achieving the United Nations sustainability goals not only in Africa but across the globe,” noted Ryan Collyer, acting CEO Rosatom Central and Southern Africa speaking at the Africa Energy Indaba Forum in Cape Town (South Africa) earlier this year.



Petition Demands That Anti- Corruption Court Indicts Bank Of Uganda Ex-officials

The Anti- Corruption division of High Court in Kampala has been petitioned to indict and hold culpable 3 former executives of the Bank of Uganda, over allegations of involving themselves in corruption and the fraudulent sale of former Crane Bank to dfcu Bank.

This is in a petition filed by a concerned Ugandan Sam Brian Kakuru seeking the High Court to institute an investigation into the operations of Louis Kasekende, Justine Bagyenda and Benedict Ssekabira.

Bagyenda is former executive director of Bank of Uganda in charge of supervision also at the heart of dubiously selling banks, Louis Austin Kasekende was the former deputy governor Bank of Uganda while Sekabira was the director Capital markets in the Central bank.

Kakuru thus wants the court to question them and their intent to establish their role into the illegal sale of former Crane Bank valued at Shs1.3trillions and handed over to Dfcu at only 200bn, not in cash. Six other banks were also victims of the above individuals’ heinous dealings.

According to the petition, Kakuru wants the Anti-Corruption Court to base its investigations on the 2019 findings of the Committee on the Commission, State Authorities and Statutory Enterprises (COSASE) and the Auditor General’s Report, which implicated Kasekende, Bagyenda, Ssekabira and other officials at the Central bank in having had a hand in the dubious sale of Crane Bank and several other commercial banks.

He further wants President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni to use his prerogative power conferred upon him by the Constitution to invoke investigation and reprimand for the named former BoU officials, because of their involvement in a litany of corruption activities, with intent to amass obscene wealth.

“The former Bank of Uganda (BoU) officials conspired with the mysterious Nile River Acquisition Company as the Company bought off secured debts of International Credit Bank (ICB), Greenland Bank and Cooperative Bank at Shs8.89 billion representing a 26 per cent discount of the total secured loans.

“The loan portfolio sold included secured loans of Shs34.5 billion which had a valid, legal or equitable mortgage on the real property and were supported with legal documentation. I noted that the contract price of Shs8.878 billion represented 26% of the total secured loan and 7 percent of the total loan portfolio implying that the loans were sold at a discount.” The Auditor Genera; John Muwanga say in his special audit report of BoU on defunct banks (Annex 3).”

Kakuru adds in his petition that “The Financial Institutions Act (FIA) provides ways in which the Bank of Uganda may take over and resolve the financial institution that is in distress. BoU fraudulently closed Crane Bank ignoring sections 89 (1), (2) (e) and (9) of the FIA Act (Annex 1).”

“Corruption implicated former BoU official fraudulently closed Central Bank without conduction of an evaluation of the assets and liabilities of Crane Bank before they were transferred to Dfcu Bank.

“On April 10, 2018, I requested for P&A agreement, including the details of the assets and liabilities transferred after taking into account the requisite valuation. I noted that BoU did not carry out a valuation of the assets and liabilities of CBL. In the absence of the valuation, I could not establish how the terms for the transfer of assets and liabilities in the P& A were determined,” Mr Muwanga’s report reads in part (Annex 2).”

He also adds that “BoU was deliberately involved in obstruction of justice to Chairman Ruparelia Group through misappropriation of taxpayers’ money to hire MAAKS Advocates that created a scenario of allegedly taking Shs397 billion out of the financial institution in alleged fraudulent transactions and land title transfers. MAKKS Advocates had been previously hired as lawyers for Ruparelia Group, a case that was crashed in court as a conflict of interest (Annex3).”

“The ACD of the High Court must investigate and prosecute former BoU corruption implicated officials the circumstances that led to the closure of Cooperative Bank after unearthed questions regarding the particular identity of the bank that was closed, after two groups of shareholders came up claiming ownership of the bank, with each sharing the same names. (Annex 1).

Greenland Bank equity investment in African Export-import Bank (Egypt) worth USD45,000 had accumulated dividends of USD22,410 as at 30th November 2015, however, the liquidator (BOU) had not sold off the shares and therefore the funds were embezzled by the corruption implicated former BoU officials (Annex 1).

The Petitioner wants Bank of Uganda Governor Emmanuel Tumusiime Mutebile who was requested by COSASE to prepare a response to the demand for Shs20 billion from the Central Bank by businessman Chris Tushabe Karobwa.

Mr Karobwa petitioned Parliament faulting former BoU officials for bringing his business empire down after officials mismanaged properties worth Shs1.4Billions which he had mortgaged in Cooperative Bank before it was closed and liquidated in 1999.

He also claims that Shs3Billion that was on his account in Cooperative Bank at the time of closure was stolen on top of BoU seizing and grounding his two Mercedes Benz lorries.”

SOURCE: Command1Post

Fresh Kid, Felista Gifted With Gadgets To Study Online

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, education and learning must continue. And for that matter, schools and parents are devising ways to help teaching and learning continue.

The ministry of education and sports and other stakeholders in the education system have encouraged schools, parents and students to embrace technology in order to ensure that learning continues until it is safe to return to school classrooms.

Schools like Kampala Parents School are leading the way in providing their pupils' online classes using online platforms like Zoom. The school has also partnered with television stations to deliver lessons to their pupils.

But while online education is proving to be a success especially in urban centres that have reliable internet connections, many parents have cited the lack of gadgets like mobile handsets and television as a hindrance.

Some of the pupils who have been affected by the lack of gadgets to undertake online lessons are rappers Fresh Kid, real names Patrick Senyonjo, and Felista Da Rapper, real names Faith Nanyanzi, who were recently given scholarships to study at Kampala Parents School.

Today, Rajiv Ruparelia, the managing director of Kampala Parents donated two tablets to Fresh Kid and Felista to help them their classes. Rajiv said they have done this as an example to encourage parents to embrace technology.

“We believe this can be an example for parents to embrace technology and gadgets in their education because we don't know when COVID-19 will go away,” Rajiv said.


Angola Committed To Meeting Energy Objectives Amid COVID-19

Africa Oil & Power, the African Energy Chamber and the U.S.-Angola Chamber of Commerce united to present, ‘Powering Forward: The Pathway to Grid Stability, Increased Capacity and a Diversified Angolan Economy,” on Thursday.

The webinar addressed how Angola can continue to prioritize its development of national transmission and distribution capacities in the long-term, with a view toward increasing electrification, job creation and economic growth.

The panelists included Maria da Cruz, President & CEO of the U.S.-Angola Chamber of Commerce; Paul Ghiotto, Deputy Political-Economic Chief/Energy Officer, Political-Economic Section, U.S. Embassy Luanda and Frederico Martins Correia, Energy, Resources & Industrials Partner, Deloitte.

‘Powering Forward: The Pathway to Grid Stability, Increased Capacity and a Diversified Angolan Economy’ explored the long-term and strategic outlook for the Angolan power sector on Thursday through a public webinar hosted by Africa Oil &Power (AOP), the African Energy Chamber and the U.S.-Angola Chamber of Commerce.

Until 2025, power demand in Angola is expected to grow at a substantial rate, with the overall system load reaching 7,200 MW – more than four times the current level – which is closely linked with the country’s plans for industrialization.

While industry currently accounts for just 9% of energy demand, energy-intensive activities such as mining and iron exploration will serve as key drivers of growth, with industry aimed to account for 25% of total consumption by 2025.

“You cannot expand the industrialization of the country without secure power throughout,” said Maria da Cruz, President & CEO of U.S.-Angola Chamber of Commerce.

“The government of Angola has invested in the economy with the Angola Energy 2025 agenda, which is robust and seeks to invest in the energy sector. There is an estimate of around $23 billion that the government would like to invest as part of the Angola Energy 2025 strategy, and it is going to need support from the private sector.”

Over the past decade, the Angolan government has channeled significant resources into improving access to affordable and reliable power for both urban and rural communities. This is reflected by the Angola Energy 2025 Vision, which aligns with the National Development Plan 2018-2022 and centers on creating increased capacity and distribution capabilities, supported by new renewables and private sector investment.

“The Angolan government, along with multilateral donors and some bilateral donors, has invested a lot in generation,” said Paul Ghiotto, Deputy Political-Economic Chief/Energy Officer Political-Economic Section, U.S. Embassy Luanda.

“The Ministry’s plan for electrification not only aims to go from 38% to around 60% by 2025, but it also aims to go from around less than three gigawatts (GW) of installed generation to approximately 9 GW by the end of the same period.

We do not know if we will get to 9 GW, but through the development of hydropower in the Kwanza river basin, Angola has a very strong base of generation sufficient to meet future demand, even projected until to 2030. There are also additional opportunities in generation, I would argue in gas-to-power, and particularly renewables in the solar sector.”

In addition to government funding, the country is eager to attract private sector investment into its most bankable power projects, specifically in distribution to end users.

“Angola already has a clear view of its transmission, generation and distribution sectors, which enables its Power Sector Reform Support Program,” said Frederico Martins Correia, Energy, Resources & Industrials Partner, Deloitte.

“The law and regulation has been improved so that the private sector can enter, in addition to the public sector. In terms of distribution, it is quite easy to create a company and be a player, and the government is very keen to create distribution companies locally.

In transmission, the vision is to provide more services or exploration and product-sharing contracts, and not to be a player. The vision for the government is to keep transmission as a state-owned part.”

Like many oil-producing African countries, Angola remains dependent on crude oil exports to make up the majority of government revenues. In spite of market conditions produced by COVID-19, the government is continuing its commitment to provide affordable power to its citizens, as well as attract capital inflows during the current period of reduced final investment decisions.

“Angola is a fairly new country, given the fact that this year it is going to celebrate 25 years of independence,” said Maria da Cruz.

“There are industries here that are still not created, and there are opportunities with different tenders and investments in the energy sector. Another key item is that there is a true commitment by the government of Angola to invest and provide key reforms to attract private investment into the country.” 

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