Energy (148)

$7 million Access Co-Development Facility Competition Launched

Access Power a developer, owner and operator of power projects in emerging markets, today announced the launch of ACF 2018, the third edition of the highly successful funding and support platform for renewable energy projects in Africa and Asia.

For this third edition, Access has included Asia for energy projects and invite entrepreneurs across both Africa and Asia to compete.

Now in its fourth year, the ACF is an innovative US$7 million financial support programme designed to provide local power project developers and originators with project development support, technical experience, expertise and funding required to bring their renewable energy projects to life.

ACF 2018 aims to further build on the success of the previous three years where a total of 234 projects have been considered for the prize with several winning projects now benefiting from the mix of funding and technical expertise provided by Access Power.

This year's finalists will once again be evaluated and scored by an independent panel of industry experts, similar to last year's which comprised of senior representatives from Power Africa, InfraCo Africa, Proparco, and the Dutch Development Bank (FMO).

The winners of ACF 2018 will be announced during a live final evaluation panel on June 19th 2018 during the Africa Energy Forum in Mauritius. The top three finalists from Africa and Asia will subsequently enter into direct Joint Development Agreement (JDA) discussions with Access Power.

Reda El Chaar, Executive Chairman, Access Power commented; "This year we are delighted to welcome projects across Asia too to compete.

By introducing new markets, we hope this will enable us to reach a bigger network of innovative and pioneering entrepreneurs across Africa and Asia with the opportunity to develop their ambitious ideas into tangible projects."

GE Power, FieldCore Successfully Restart Production At Metahara

GE Power and FieldCore, the company's independent field services execution arm, have successfully restarted Metahara Sugar Factory in Ethiopia, seven months after the plant was severely damaged by a major thunderstorm.

The outage execution service of two steam turbines, which lasted 20 days, succeeded in bringing back the 5000-person workforce and solving sugar scarcity for more than the 100 million people in Ethiopia.

Metahara's Deputy Factory Manager Mr. Fahmi Dawud said the team providing solutions and getting the factory back up and running in a record 20 days was a miracle.

"We had lost all hope that these extremely aged units, manufactured by Compagnie Electro Mecanique, in the 1950s, would ever come online again due to the damage. Hotels and supermarkets had run out of sugar, and it was a critical situation. We are excited to hear the machines humming again."

"GE Power and FieldCore are proud to have helped bring sugar production back to Ethiopia," said Elisee Sezan, General Manager, GE's Power Services business for Sub-Saharan Africa. "We all experienced a great sense of accomplishment when the turbines were revived at startup and we heard the them working again.

This project reflects the passion, the wealth of power generation experience and the world-class services capabilities that keep GE and FieldCore competitive and consistent around the globe for our customers," he added.

The Metahara Sugar Factory is in the Oromiya Regional State, about 200 kilometers from Addis Ababa and it produces about 136,000 tons of sugar annually, representing an estimated 20% of Ethiopia's sugar consumption.

Daniel Hailu, Executive Country Business Leader for GE's Global Growth Organization, explained that sugar is a key commodity for Ethiopia, both for local consumption and export. He said: "It's extremely important for the country's foreign currency revenue stream. We are honored to participate in such a crucial project for the country."

GE works with the government, state owned enterprises as well as private sector corporate customers in Ethiopia to support economic growth through infrastructure development in the power, healthcare and transport/aviation sectors. In 2016, GE opened a 60-capacity permanent office in Addis Ababa, and now has over 40 employees - 90% of which are Ethiopians.

Museveni Kicking Umeme Out Of Uganda

President Yoweri Museveni has ruled out the renewal of Umeme’s concession, ordering the Ministry of Energy to look for a cheaper alternative, online publisher ChimpReports reported the suprising move, one that is likely to excite Ugandans, last night .

According to the leading current news website, ‘the president is accusing the South African based company of colluding with officials from the Energy ministry to inflate its operation costs, which trickles down to hiked end user prices.’

Umeme took over power distribution from the Uganda Electricity Distribution Company Ltd (UEDCL) in a concession on March 1st 2005. The 20 year concession, which was condemned by whistle blowers and investigated by Parliament – with recommendations for it’s termination – is due for renewal in March 2025.

Museveni, in a letter dated March 13th, tasked Minister Irene Muloni to explain to him how Umeme’s technical losses still remain as high as 17% yet the company claims to have invested up to $500million in distribution infrastructure to address this problem.

Read Full Story HERE

Global Law Firms Look To African Energy Markets

A trio of recent lateral hires indicates that law firms in London are keeping a close eye on African energy and infrastructure opportunities, with US law firms at the vanguard of such interest.

Recent announcements by the London offices of Covington & Burling, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, and McCarthy Denning, show that partners with project finance, infrastructure and energy backgrounds are in demand in London’s busy lateral law firm hires market.

That reflects increasing confidence by banks and sovereigns in financing energy developments, the impact of gradually rising oil and gas prices and increasing activity, recently valued at USD 21.2 billion, in oil and gas mergers and acquisitions, alongside increased infrastructure activity associated with gradually increasing confidence in the mining sector.

There is a clear mandate from development banks and African institutions alike to encourage investment in both conventional and renewable energy projects, especially with the prospect of greater investment as a result of China’s Belt and Road infrastructure intensifying around African maritime routes, and London remaining a hub for lawyers working in, and for, the infrastructure industry.


Covington & Burling was the most recent to announce hires, both individuals possessing extensive skills in project finance particularly in the power and renewable energy, transportation, mining, natural resources and water sectors, following last year’s opening of offices in Johannesburg and Dubai.

Robin Mizrahi, a partner, and Laure Berthelot, a special counsel, joined from leading United States energy law firm Baker Botts. Both lawyers advise sponsors, lenders and governments, including state-owned entities, in connection with the development and financing of large projects.

Mizrahi has over two decades of experience in emerging markets, including Africa, and Berthelot’s own experience mirrors her colleague’s, and she is also familiar in dealing with multilateral agencies, developers and both the Anglophone and Francophone sides of Africa. She is both US and United Kingdom-qualified.

Deals the pair had led on in anglophone Africa include the Bujagali hydropower project in Uganda, the most powerful hydroelectric energy source in Uganda at the time of construction and one of the largest power sector project financings in Sub-Saharan Africa, while on the francophone side, they represented Moroccan state-owned enterprise, the Office National de l’Electricité et de l’Eau Potable (ONEE), in connection with the USD 2.6 billion Safi project, a 1320 MW clean-coal-fired independent power plant, as well as the USD 590 million 300 MW Tarfaya wind project, the largest wind project in Africa.

Graham Vinter, chair of Covington’s international project finance practice, said in a statement that the pair’s “particular skills and practice focus, combined with our existing capabilities, will allow us to serve clients in energy and infrastructure projects throughout Africa, including French-speaking countries”.


Also hiring senior staff with African experience, alongside mainstream energy experience gained across a range of emerging markets, is London firm McCarthy Denning, which has appointed two former in-house lawyers, Robin Storey and Stacey Kivel.

Moves in and out of private practice are common in this sector; Vinter was once general counsel of BG Group and McCarthy Denning hired Sam Dunkley from Oil & Gas UK, the UK offshore oil and gas industry’s representative body, last year.

Storey has over 20 years’ in-house experience, including having held the general counsel and company secretary role at several listed small cap exploration and production companies, including Stratic Energy Corporation, Aurelian Oil & Gas, as well as roles at BP and PetroKazakhstan.

He has handled a full range of energy sector areas, including upstream, corporate, restructuring, financing, compliance and disputes, with North African experience, alongside mainstream energy markets such as the Middle East and Russia.

Kivel, meanwhile, has equally long experience in the field, but has greater insights into African-focused oil exploration, having been general counsel to Equator Exploration and Oando, both listed on the London AIM, and Johannesburg and Toronto stock exchanges, respectively.

She has acquired and divested of oil rights in more than 10 African countries, many of which were new to oil and gas exploration, as well as working in Francophone Africa, while also managing disputes and securing litigation funding.

Both lawyers now join a five-strong energy team, which McCarthy Denning co-founder and chief executive Warren Wooldridge described as “energy experts who are respected authorities in the sector and who collectively possess an exceptional depth of experience and knowledge”.


Also on the move, in January, was London-based project finance lawyer Julian Nichol, who took his project finance and transactional energy and natural resources matters practice to Akin Gump from US law firm Bracewell where he headed the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) power group and co-headed the global oil and gas practice.

Nichol’s focus is on the acquisition, disposal, development and project financing of independent power generation projects (IPP) and power transmission and distribution projects.

With Africa an important part of what is a growth region in the power and projects sector, his arrival complements the firm’s existing global practice and broadens the practice’s experience of conventional and renewable energy projects.

His past experience includes acting for developers, funds, lenders and governments, and spans major energy markets in Latin America, Dubai and the wider United Arab Emirates, and London, as well as working with large US oil majors.

Much of his recent work has been in sub-Saharan Africa where he has developed experience in development finance initiative-funded power projects involving the International Finance Corporation (IFC), African Development Bank (AfDB), as well as the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), European Investment Bank (EIB) and many other national bodies.

His recent work includes advising the sponsors on the development and financing of the Kribi and Dibamba IPPs in Cameroon, the country’s first IPP, and advising a major private equity house on the acquisition of a majority stake in the Azura Edo IPP in Nigeria.

Sebastian Rice, partner in charge of Akin Gump’s London office, said: “Broadening the firm’s project finance, power and energy capabilities in London fits perfectly with our strategic objectives in this area.”


Rafiki Power, Mobisol In New Partnership

Rafiki Power (E.ON Offgrid solutions GmbH) and Mobisol GmbH have partnered to pilot a new approach labelled the Hybrid Grid for off-grid clients in rural Tanzania. The Hybrid Grid is combining the best of mini-grids and solar home systems to bring higher value and better service to their mutual customers at lower cost.

While Rafiki Power will continue to build mini-grid infrastructure, Mobisol will complement the offer and help reduce overall costs by equipping customers lying outside the core perimeter of the mini-grid with their large solar home systems. Both the mini-grid and the solar home system option deliver reliable, clean and affordable energy.

Jointly Mobisol and Rafiki Power will be in a position to give access to a wider range of appliances to more customers. This will also include the possibility to finance and monitor the appliances on a PAYG basis. All customers will have access to to standard appliances such as TVs (up to 43”) and fridges.

Mobisol with its efficient DC technology will enable the outlying customer’s access to so-called productive use appliances ranging from mobile phone chargers, barber shop equipment to village cinemas.

Within travel distance these customers will also have access to larger productive use equipment run on Rafiki Powers AC Mini-grids that allow for economics of scale such as water pumps, mills, cold storage, carpenter shops utilizing electric drills and saws or welding shops. 

Increased demand for new or larger appliances can flexibly be met by installed additional capacity. Beyond improving the value proposition for customers, the cooperation allows for synergy effects both in terms of logistics and of operations but most importantly allows for economic development in the entire region.

Daniel Becker CEO Rafiki Power said “We are thrilled to combine the best of both worlds of mini-grids and solar home systems. Our customers stand to benefit from the improved offer, in particular in terms of access to a wider range of high quality appliances. The operational synergies between our businesses will help to reduce overall costs.“

Mini-grid and solar home and business systems providers have long been considered as separate silos. Electrification strategies have tended to opt either for one or the other technology, giving the impression that they were mutually exclusive.

Thomas Gottschalk, CEO Mobisol Group emphasized that “the collaborative approach between the mini-grids experts and large solar home system pioneers offers a flexible and powerful solution to all planners in rural electrification. The time of choosing one or the other technology is now over and their mutual benefits can now be combined.“

The cooperation of Rafiki Power with Mobisol is proving the complementarity of both approaches and thereby widens the options and solutions available when planning rural electrification at larger scale.


EnergyNet, African Business Ink Africa Energy Forum Partnership

Celebrating 20 years of projects, deals & partnerships, the Africa Energy Forum will celebrate its 20th anniversary in Mauritius from 19-22 June.

EnergyNet and African Business have joined forces in 2018 to produce the annual Africa Energy Yearbook and a Special Energy Report on African energy for global distribution

As the official publication of the Forum, the 9th Africa Energy Yearbook will reflect on the achievements of Africa's energy sector over the last 20 years.

It will have a special anniversary edition examining the role which the African power community has played in these successes.

Content from the yearbook will also be compiled into a Special Energy Report to be published in African Business magazine and circulated throughout the magazine's global distribution network.

The report will feature a number of CEO interviews, thought leadership pieces and in-depth analysis on a number of energy-related issues that are shaping the African continent.

Distribution will reach 300,000 readers at business lounges and newsstands in over 75 countries.

Host Communities Get Dangote Cement Scholarships In Nigeria

In a major boost to its Corporate Social Responsibility profile, Dangote Cement Plc, Ibese Plant has announced a multi-million Naira educational scholarship award for 115 students from its 15 host communities for the 2017/2018 academic session.

The Company said the scholarship has become an annual event meant to contribute to the educational development of the people and the area and position them in right place in the scheme of things in Ogun state and Nigeria in general.

Acting Plant Director of Dangote Cement, Ibese, Mr. Louis Raj, while speaking during the presentation of cheques to the beneficiaries at Ibese Plant, explained that the management decided to increase the number of beneficiaries to 115 from the previous 80 so that more children of the area could benefit.

He also said the decision was meant to encourage the young ones to go to school as a sure way of building them mentally and morally so that they be good to themselves and the society.

According to him, the scholarship award is just one of the many Social Services the Company has committed itself to and continue to provide other social services as a way of giving back to the society within which it operates.

The General Manager, Government and Community Relations, Joseph Alabi while giving the breakdown of the scholarship said the award covered 115 students of Yewa origin studying various courses across several higher institutions of learning in the country.

Some of the schools where the beneficiaries are studying include Polytechnics, Universities, College of Educations, College of Technologies, and secondary schools scattered across Ogun state.

Alabi also announced a list of candidates from the host communities who have been selected to attend Dangote Academy for training in various arts and vocations pointing out that the training will equip them with wherewithal to work and do their own business whenever they chose to.

In his remark, the Olu of Imasayi, Oba Gbadebo Oni said the host communities are happy with Dangote Cement with its handling of community issues, saying Alhaji Aliko Dangote deserves all the cooperation his people could muster for citing the cement plant in their land and then taking care of the people and the communities.

The scholarship according to him, has offered a big relief to parents who have to struggle so much to ensure their children school fees are paid, saying they will forever be grateful to the management of Dangote cement.

East Africa Data Centre Saves Shs4.5m Annually After Turning To Solar

East Africa Data Centre (EADC), part of Africa Data Centres, announced a partnership with Distributed Power Africa (DPA), a dynamic African renewable energy solutions company and a subsidiary of Econet Global, to install solar panels on its premises, enabling it to move towards achieving 100 %dependency on renewable energy and save Sh4.5m a year.

DPA will set up solar panels on the data centre's rooftop, pathways and the car parking bay, utilising all available space to maximise solar power output, providing daytime running of the facility and acting as a backup in times of power blackout from the Kenya Power mains.

EADC is among a few Uptime certified data centres in Africa that house critical data for clients, including cloud services and data back-up on servers, and is now also supporting Kenya's first Analytics Data Centre in Strathmore Business School, Nairobi.

Its investments in green power are in line with strategic efforts to curtail global warming effects from use of fossil fuel to generate power.

Globally, data centres are now consuming some 3 %of the world's total electricity supply, with their power consumption growing at about 4 %a year. Data centres are therefore going green to conserve the environment and reduce operational costs.

"We are now powering EADC with renewable energy standing at 72.6 per cent, allowing us to host, connect and support critical data for local and international companies," said Dan Kwach General Manager, East Africa Data Centre.

Last year, EADC launched a new dedicated USD5m Kenya Power substation to support its energy-intensive needs. It is estimated that 60 %of Kenya Power's electricity is generated from green energy sources. Solar power will add to EADC's competitive advantage and demonstrate its green credentials to win international clients.

"Solar power for commercial and industrial use is becoming more and more popular because it is a renewable energy source, now available at a competitive price such that when it is combined with power storage, provides viable energy reliability as an alternative to the grid," said Norman Moyo, DPA CEO.

"This solar project is a 25-year asset that is specially designed for mature telco processes and systems, and through our operational management, maximise the output against its expected lifespan."

The solar project at EADC will be DPA's first solar installation in Kenya. This comes at a time when other major companies and development in the country are shifting to solar power such as Two Rivers Development Shopping Mall and Carport with 1,280kW, Kaysalt in Malindi with 129kW, Strathmore School of Monetary Studies with 600kW.

In other African countries, DPA has installed solar power at Graniteside Office Park and Call Centre in Zimbabwe with 95kW, KPMG South Africa with 50kW and now finalising on a deal to install 350kW at Boxlee in South Africa.

Energy Ministry Tours Kenyan Geothermal Plant

As one way of sensitizing and creating awareness of the great potential Uganda has with its yet to be exploited Geothermal potential, the Directorate of Geological survey and mines took a delegation of local leaders from Hoima District to visit Olkaria Power Plant, East Africa's biggest Geothermal power Plant in Kenya.

The Olkaria Area is a region located immediately to the south of Lake Naivasha in the Great Rift Valley of Kenya, Africa. It is geothermally active and is being used to generate growing quantities of clean electrical power. The region has an estimated potential of 2,000 MW.

The geothermal complex and power plants lie within the Hell's Gate National Park. The Olkaria volcanic area is about 120 kilometres (75 mi) from Nairobi.

Led by Mr. Kato Vincent, the Ass. Commissioner Geothermal Energy, the delegation was led on a guided tour of all the Olkaria power plants. Uganda’s Vision 20140 projects that Uganda will require 41,738 MW by 2040. It further indicates that generation of the electricity from nuclear and geothermal energy will play a critical role in meeting the electricity deficit in the long term.

Report: Renewables Key To Emission Reductions, Positive For Economy

The European Union (EU) can increase the share of renewable energy in its energy mix to 34 per cent by 2030 – double the share in 2016 – with a net positive economic impact, finds a report by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), launched in Brussels.

Presenting the findings during a launch event, ‘Renewable Energy Prospects for the European Union’ – developed at the request of the European Commission – IRENA’s Director-General Mr. Adnan Z. Amin highlighted that achieving higher shares of renewable energy is possible with today’s technology, and would trigger additional investments of around EUR 368 billion until 2030 – equal to an average annual contribution of 0.3 per cent of the GDP of the EU. The number of people employed in the sector across the EU – currently 1.2 million – would grow significantly under a revised strategy.

Raising the share of renewable energy would help reduce emissions by a further 15 per cent by 2030 – an amount equivalent to Italy’s total emissions. These reductions would bring the EU in line with its goal to reduce emissions by 40 per cent compared to 1990 levels, and set it on a positive pathway towards longer-term decarbonisation.

The increase would result in savings of between EUR 44 billion and EUR 113 billion per year by 2030, when accounting for savings related to the cost of energy, and avoided environmental and health costs.

“For decades now, through ambitious long-term targets and strong policy measures, Europe has been at the forefront of global renewable energy deployment,” said IRENA Director-General Adnan Z. Amin.

“With an ambitious and achievable new renewable energy strategy, the EU can deliver market certainty to investors and developers, strengthen economic activity, grow jobs, improve health and put the EU on a stronger decarbonisation pathway in line with its climate objectives.”

Welcoming the timeliness of the report, Mr. Miguel Arias Cañete, European Commissioner for Energy and Climate Action said: “The report confirms our own assessments that the costs of renewables have come down significantly in the last couple of years, and that we need to consider these new realities in our ambition levels for the upcoming negotiations to finalise Europe's renewable energy policies.”

The report highlights that all EU Member States have additional cost-effective renewable energy potential, noting that renewable heating and cooling options account for more than one-third of the EU’s additional renewables potential.

Furthermore, all renewable transport options will be needed to realise EU's long-term decarbonisation objectives.

Additional key findings from the report, include:

Reaching a 34% renewable share by 2030 would require an estimated average investment in renewable energy of around EUR 62 billion per year.

The renewable energy potential identified would result in 327 GW of installed wind capacity an additional 97 GW compared to business as usual, and 270 GW of solar, an 86 GW increase on business as usual.

Accelerated adoption of heat pumps and electric vehicles would increase electricity to 27 per cent of total final energy consumption, up from 24 per cent in a business as usual scenario.

The share of renewable energy in the power sector would rise to 50 per cent by 2030, compared to 29 per cent in 2015.

In end-use sectors, renewable energy would account for 42 per cent of energy in buildings, 36 per cent in industry and 17 per cent in transport.

All renewable transport options are needed, including electric vehicles and – both advanced and conventional – biofuels to realise long-term EU decarbonisation objectives.

The report is a contribution to the ongoing discussions on the European Commission’s ‘Clean Energy for All Europeans’ package, tabled in November 2016, which proposed a framework to support renewable energy deployment.

Renewable Energy Prospects for the European Union is part of IRENA’s renewable energy roadmap, REmap, which determines the potential for countries, regions and the world to scale up renewables to ensure an affordable and sustainable energy future.

The roadmap focuses on renewable technology options in power, as well as heating, cooling and transport. The REmap study for the EU is based on deep analysis of existing REmap studies for 10 EU Member States (accounting for 73 per cent of EU energy use), complemented and aggregated with high-level analyses for the other 18 EU Member States.

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