BWSC to supply gas-fired power plant in Benin

The Danish power plant specialist Burmeister & Wain Scandinavian Contractor (BWSC), in consortium with MAN Diesel and Turbo (MDT), has been awarded US$150.26mn contract to build a 120MW gas-fired power plant in Benin

The project entails construction of a whole new power house for seven MDT dual fuel engines and all corresponding infrastructure. According to BWSC, the project is scheduled to be delivered in 18 months from effective contract.

The dual fuel HFO and gas-fired power plant will be located at the Maria Gléta site, about 15km from the city of Cotonou. The plant is expected to provide electricity to supply the equivalent of approximately 300,000 European households and responds to the government’s initiative to develop the energy sector in Benin in a sustainable manner.

Benin has a rapidly growing demand for power, estimated at six per cent per year, and this new project is set to enhance the electricity supply for business growth and living standards in the peri-urban areas surrounding Cotonou.

The project is financed by Islamic Development Bank of Saudi Arabia, the West African Development Bank and Banque d’investissement et de Développement in Togo.

BWSC won the project in an international tender round, and the contract was signed with the state-owned utility Société Béninoise d’Energie Electrique (SBEE).

BWSC is a Danish engineering and contracting company which develops, builds, operates and owns high-performance engine-based and boiler-based power plants. So far, the company has delivered more than 180 power plants to 53 countries worldwide with a total capacity of more than 3,500MW.


African Development Bank approves billions for renewable energy projects in Africa

Over R4.4 billion has been approved by the African Development Bank to support Morocco and Côte d’Ivoire’s renewable energy projects.

These projects are expected to increase power supply and contribute towards the economic growth of their countries.

According to AfDB’s statement, more than 600 million people in the African continent do not have access to electricity.

This has led the group to scale up investments in energy with the aspirational goal of achieving universal access to energy in Africa by 2025.

The AfDB said, Côte d’Ivoire’s loan amount of over R800 million will boost electricity production through a 44-megawatt hydroelectric power project – Singrobo-Ahouaty Hydropower Plant located in Abidjan, to be commissioned in 2021.

It is believed that the project will connect communities in the vicinity to the power grid, reduce fossil fuel dependency, and environmental pollution.

Côte d’Ivoire intends to increase its share of renewable energy from 15% to 42% by 2021.

The bank has also committed more than R3.3 billion to Morocco to help develop two solar power plants – NOORM I and NOORM II.

The financial provider said these solar plants will be connected to the national grid, and will guarantee electricity supplies to more than 2 million Moroccans and significantly reduce carbon dioxide.

Meanwhile, South Africa’s energy mix is dominated by coal, but the government has set a target of 17 800MW of renewable energy power by 2030.

SA government also gears up for nuclear power purchase, an action currently causing public unrest as the civil society organisations call for proper public consultation by the Energy Department on the matter.

The country’s renewable energy market has grown rapidly over the last five years and there is rising demand for renewables debt. It is evident that the country is also shifting towards renewable energy sources as the central African countries do.


AfDB disburses €71 million to build a 714 km power line linking Guinea and Mali

The African Development Bank disbursed more than €71 million for the construction of a 714 km high voltage power line. The infrastructure which will link N’Zérékoré (Guinea) and Sanankoroba (Mali), will enable the electrification of 201 villages and provide a better access to electricity.

Marie-Laure Akin-Olugbadé, assistant general manager of the AfDB in West Africa, said: “In addition to the funding it provides, the African Development Bank played the role of lead funder. It has financed and monitored technical and economic feasibility studies and environmental and social impact assessments”.

The project’s total cost is €358 million. The power line is expected to be connected to the high voltage lines of the sub-region, thus allowing interconnection between its countries. Once completed, it will help increase the electrification rates of Guinea and Mali which respectively stand at 18% 41% presently.


Zimbabwean President to Commission Kariba South Power Project’s first unit

Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa is set to commission Kariba South power expansion project’s first unit on 24th December, 2017. The unit will feed 150MW onto the national grid.

The project has been undertaken by Chinese state-owned hydro-power engineering and construction company, Sinohydro. It began in September 2014, as part of Zim-Asset, under the Infrastructure and Utilities Cluster, with the aim of increasing power generation by 300MW. Zesa Holdings chief executive Mr Josh Chifamba yesterday confirmed that the first unit was coming on line next week.

“There are concerns over the water levels in Lake Kariba. Therefore, we would not get the full benefits of the project until the water level improves,” he said. The second unit will generate another 150MW to be fed into the national grid by end of March next year.
The Kariba South expansion project will ease pressure on the national power utility Zesa. Currently, Zesa is importing about 350MW from Zimbabwe’s neighbours. The completion of the power project will see the country making colossal savings on power imports.
Economic recovery

Constant power supply is one of the key enablers in the economic recovery drive. Sinohydro chief representative in Zimbabwe, Mr Wu Yifeng last year told The Herald that the project was on schedule. He said the first unit will be complete this month, while commissioning of second one will be in March next year. As a result the power project will make an additional 300MW to the national grid on completion. The country needs about 1 400MW for industrial and domestic use. However, it is generating 900MW, with the balance coming from imports.


Egypt to offer tenders for 500MW solar power plants development in 2018

Egypt’s ministry of power will offer tenders in the first quarter of 2018 for the development of solar power plants with a cumulative capacity of 500MW.

Arab and international companies presented their offers to the New and Renewable Energy Authority (NREA) and the Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company (EETC) to establish 100-200MW solar power plants.

However, investors are to submit their bids as competitive tenders. Tenders submitted will be through a Build, Own, Operate (BOO) scheme in Minya and Aswan.

Solar power expansion

In October, European solar power producer Scatec Solar and partners, announced the financial close for six solar photovoltaic (PV) power plants in the Benban solar park in Aswan in Upper Egypt totalling 400MW at an estimated cost of US $450m. The six plants will offset around 350,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year thus supporting Egypt’s emission reduction targets under the Paris Climate Agreement.

Once completed, Benban will be the largest solar installation in the world with a planned total capacity of 1.8GW.

According to the head of NREA Mohamed El-Khayat, the country’s feed-in-tariff projects contributed to a significant leap in the field of renewable energy in Egypt, and energy projects in Egypt are attractive to investments in the current and coming period.


Ivory Coast and Morocco gain support for renewable projects

The renewable energy sectors of Ivory Coast and Morocco have both received a boost to further develop their planned projects.

The African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved $324 million in loans to support renewable energy projects in these two countries, which are expected to significantly increase power supplies and keep economic growth on track.

For Morocco, the Bank’s commitment of $265 million will help develop two solar power plants (NOORM I and NOORM II) at a total cost of €2.048 billion ($2.3 billion) with a cumulative capacity of 800MW, under a public-private partnership (PPP).

The solar plants will be connected to the national grid, and will guarantee electricity supplies to more than 2 million Moroccans (approximately 6% of the country’s population) and significantly reduce CO2 emissions.

Ivory Coast hydropower project

The Ivory Coast Singrobo-Ahouaty project involves the design, construction and operation of a 44MW hydropower plant on the Bandama River.

The country’s dynamic economy is exerting pressure on power supply, with demand projected to grow by 8-9% annually.

To meet rising domestic and regional demand, Ivory Coast intends to significantly raise its generation capacity, including hydropower.

The AfDB noted that the approval of both projects underscores its focus on renewable energy in Africa.

This year alone the Bank’s investments will contribute to 1.4GW of additional generation capacity exclusively from renewable energy sources, it noted.

AfDB President Akinwumi Adesina commented: “These approvals demonstrate once again the Bank’s leadership on renewable energy in Africa.”

“These projects will be essential to achieving the countries’ Nationally Determined Contributions under the Paris Agreement. I believe this sends a strong message ahead of the One Planet Summit on Climate next week in Paris,” Adesina added.

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