Energy (170)

Construction Of East Africa’s Largest Solar Power Project Starts In Uganda


The Uganda Ministry of Energy teed off the construction works of the largest privately funded solar power plant in East Africa. The project, based in Soroti, eastern Uganda, is being bankrolled by Access Uganda Solar ltd, a partnership between EREN RE and Access Power.

 Once finished and operational, the solar plant will power 40,000 homes and businesses. 80 percent of residents in Soroti and neighboring district currently don’t have access to electricity. This project, worth $19m, comes as a major boost. It will provide clean, low carbon, sustainable electricity to national grid.

State Minister for Mineral Development Hon. Peter Lokeris expressed government’s gratitude to Access Power for the development of energy in this region. “Uganda suffers an energy deficiency and has sought to work with Corporations such as Access Power to bridge this gap,”

“Government priorities such Agro Processing can only get lifted off the ground with sufficient and reliable energy. I have confidence in the project because our country enjoys an all year round sunny climate which is the resource for Solar Power.”

It is believed that the project will spur growth of small agrobased factories, power social centers like schools, hospitals among others.

Reda El Chaar, Executive Chairman of Access Power, said breaking the ground to symbolize start of construction of the project marks a major milestone for Access Power, for Uganda and for the development of Africa.

“According to the International Energy Agency, 60% of Africa’s population are living without reliable electricity supplies whilst as a continent it has attracted $25 billion in investment in renewables in the past six years.  Our company brings innovation, expertise and determination to every project we work on and we are particularly proud of Soroti and everyone involved”.

The Soroti project is the first solar power plant to be successfully developed under the GET FiT scheme, in partnership with the Government of Uganda through the country’s Electricity Regulatory Agency (ERA). It is funded by the European Union Infrastructure Trust Fund, and supported by the governments of Germany, Norway and the United Kingdom.

Current power generation in Eastern Uganda is intermittent, especially during the summer months, with extensive load shedding of up to four hours a day. This has impeded economic development in the area and also has an impact on the quality of life.  Local labour is being hired for the construction phase and the developers will also recruit and train engineers to operate the plant. 

Christophe Fleurence, Vice-President of Business Development - Africa of EREN RE, said the extensive political and international support to this project underlines the broad willingness to shift boundaries in electricity generation.

“EREN RE which is a renewable energy investor and a long-term independent power producer is determined to switch light on in many other places in Africa and emerging markets more generally, as efficiently as it was achieved at Soroti.”

Ethiopian Cement Company Signs Up For Renewable Energy


The Egyptian Company for Solid Waste Recycling (ECARU), a subsidiary of Qalaa Holdings’ Tawazon, announced signing of a US$ 50 million, five-year contract with Ethiopia’s Messebo Cement to supply 100,000 tons of biomass annually. The biomass will be used as a source of energy to replace coal.

As stipulated by the agreement between the two companies, ECARU will be the technology and service provider responsible for collecting, transporting and processing local Biomass that will be converted to environmentally-friendly alternative solid fuel.

“Biomass is a renewable, carbon neutral energy source that comes from agricultural residues that would otherwise be openly burned. This waste to energy solution for heavy industries such as cement manufacturing, is beneficial on multiple fronts. It helps nations solve their Biomass challenges, it reduces emissions that come from burning fossil fuels such as fuel oil, natural gas and coal, and it is a more cost-efficient and sustainable source of energy,” said Dr.HishamSherif, CEO of ENTAG/ECARU.

“Today we are exceptionally proud to be able to transfer our knowledge and years of experience to the countries of sub-Saharan Africa where Biomass as a source of renewable energy has been largely untapped,” he adds. ECARU has been supplying alternative Solid fuel, Biomass, as a source of energy to Egypt’s leading cement companies for the past five years.

The contract with Messebo Cement, which is located in Mekelle, 780 km from Addis Ababa with a production capacity of 2 million tons of cement per annum, is renewable beyond the stipulated five-year time period under the same terms and conditions.

Tawazon, Qalaa Holdings’ subsidiary company for investment in the regional solid waste management industry, controls two companies: the Egyptian Company for Solid Waste Recycling (ECARU), a solid waste management service provider, and Engineering Tasks Group (ENTAG), a solid waste management technology provider. Together, these two companies form a leading waste management enterprise with extensive operations in Egypt and an international project book in Oman, Malaysia, Sudan, Nigeria, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Syria.

Qalaa Holdings has invested in Tawazon as part of its energy portfolio which also includes TAQA Arabia, Egypt’s largest private sector energy distribution company and the Egyptian Refining Company (ERC), a US$ 3.7 billion refinery, Egypt’s largest in-progress, private sector mega project.

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