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South Africa: Fuel Pipelines Regulations Released for Comment

South Africa’s Department of Minerals and Energy (DME) said on Friday that Government had in June 2007 gazetted the draft petroleum pipelines regulations for public comment. This came after State-owned Petronet, a division of Transnet, had lodged a review appeal with energy watchdog the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA), after it was refused an application to increase its tariffs by 5.6% to fund a new pipeline project. Transnet argued that the refusal put the financial viability of its planned pipeline between Durban and Johannesburg at “unacceptable levels”. NERSA argued that it could not acquiesce to the Petronet request as it had yet to finalise a tariff-determination methodology. It, therefore, could only extend a 2.5% tariff increase. The new draft regulations dealt with tariff-setting and approval, as well as a tariff-setting methodology. The DME said that the draft regulations aimed to facilitate investment and promote the efficient and orderly development, operation and use of petroleum infrastructure. It also said that it sought to ensure an appropriate supply of petroleum to meet market requirements. The regulations would also seek to promote access to affordable petroleum products, the DME said. Other objectives included the promotion of competition in the construction and operation of petroleum infrastructure, and the promotion of developing of competitive markets.

Source: engineering news.com, 9th July 2007

Guinea: China to Fund Hydroelectric Dam

China has agreed to fund the construction of a $1 billion hydroelectric dam in mineral-rich Guinea and renovate a series of state buildings, government officials in the West African country said yesterday. The Souapiti dam should allow the former French colony to generate some 750 MW of electricity, officials said. Guinea is one of the world's least developed countries and even parts of the capital city have only sporadic power supply. A senior Chinese Government delegation visiting Guinea had confirmed that China's Government-owned Export-Import Bank which has invested in projects across the world's poorest continent would fund the dam. Local media reported that in return, Guinean authorities would guarantee China access to mineral reserves equivalent to some 2 billion tonnes of bauxite, the raw material used in the production of aluminium.

Source: Gulf Daily News, 8th July 2007

Africa: Rationing Looms in Africa Energy Crisis

Sub-Saharan Africa must urgently impose power rationing on companies and general population to limit the effects of a worsening energy crisis, industry and government experts have said. Decades of under investment in electricity networks and growing populations mean the poorest 20 percent in the region has no access to electricity. Even in wealthier African countries such as Nigeria, reliability of supply is often so poor that all large businesses need their own generators. Widespread and damaging blackouts in Southern Africa are testing the patience of citizens and dragging down economic growth. Industry and government experts at a two-day energy conference in Marrakesh, Morocco said it was urgent to boost maintenance of ageing power stations and transmission lines and add new ones to satisfy growing demand. Delegates drew an alarming picture for parts of the continent where economic mismanagement meant that urgently needed energy investment have little prospect of arriving.

Source: Reuters, 8th July 2007 

Africa: African Development Bank allocates 6.6 million Euro to Development Projects in Tanzania and Madagascar

The African Development Bank has allocated 6.6 million Euro to development projects in Tanzania and Madagascar, the two AU (African Union) member states. The bank clarified in a statement released in Tunis that it had allocated 6 million Euro to the construction of a hydroelectric plant with a capacity of 15 MW in Madagascar, and also allocated 600,000 Euros to support a number of financial services to small, medium and other institutions in Tanzania. 

Source: www.mathaba.net  7th July 2007

Namibia: Billion Dollar Project Envisaged

Billions of dollars worth of fuel, water and power production-infrastructure has been proposed by two companies for Walvis Bay, which could help Namibia gain independence from foreign petroleum suppliers, while also harnessing local renewable resources. 'Project Oasis', an initiative of Patizana Consulting Services (a Namibian company) was described by the company's Chairman, PM Limbo, as a strategic and national imperative with far reaching implications for all parties involved. He said the project would establish Walvis Bay as a significant role player within the Namibian and Southern African context and greatly enhance development opportunities. According to Limbo, 'Project Oasis' will provide employment opportunities for an estimated 5,000 skilled, semi-skilled and qualified Namibians, while providing for realistic achievements and measurable objectives. Furthermore, N$1 billion (US$ 145 million) has been made available for the initial stage and the overall investment is budgeted at N$15 billion (US$ 2.1 billion), he added. The consortium Intergen - Texas Consultants Komec (Intergen: TCK) - which boasts more than 15 power plants world-wide, in a motivation letter addressed to the Walvis Bay Municipality stated that it is 'ready, willing and able' to facilitate the construction of a petroleum and petrochemical refinery with an estimated capacity of 130,000 barrels per day. Water and power production facilities, which are used in the refining process, were also proposed. This entails a coal and thermal fired power station with an estimated capacity of 400MW that could increase to a full capacity of 800MW within five years; a desalination plant with an output of 100,000 m3 of water per day; as well as a hydroelectric sea tidal power plant that could provide 200MW of electricity. According to Aloys Lucian of Intergen: TCK (Namibia), the consortium can offer a sea tidal power plant in addition to the coal and thermal fired power station or as an alternative, however he stressed that 'there is no refinery without water and power'. Both companies share the sentiment that such facilities would be major investments, not only as an income source but also as a means to reduce Namibian dependence on outside agencies or suppliers for its fuel needs. The output-capacity will also put Namibia in a position to supply to neighbouring countries.

 Source: The Namibian, 5th July 2007 

Uganda: Engineers Told to Reduce Water Flow at Owen Falls

The Directorate of Water Development (DWD) has told engineers at Kiira and Nalubaale power stations to reduce the amount of water discharged from Lake Victoria to avoid worsening the power crisis. The directorate wants the water outflow at the Owen Falls Dam reduced to 750 cubic metres per second from 905 according to Agreed Curve Policy to prevent the lake levels from declining. The policy, which was adopted in 1950s, permits 563 cubic metres per second of water to be released. But that is not enough to run the turbines for sufficient hydro-power generation. In February 2006, the water outflow was reduced from over 1,000 cubic metres to 850. In August, it was reduced to 750 cubic metres. Early this year, the outflow was increased to 905 cubic metres. The Energy Ministry had requested the directorate to allow a water outflow of 905 cubic metres per second to generate the 145MW of power because the lake's water level had increased to 11.23m.

Source: The New Vision, 4th July 2007

 Africa: Fund Backs Unity Drive with Cash

African public and private investors plan to finance highways, hydro-power dams and other infrastructure through a continent-wide fund that puts hard cash behind the goal of a more united Africa. African ministers officially launched the Pan African Infrastructure Development Fund late on Sunday at an African Union summit in Ghana that is debating how to speed up integration of the world's poorest continent. The initiative would provide long-term financing for cross-border energy, transport, telecoms, water and sanitation projects. Other investment instruments -- quasi-equity, structured finance and high-yielding debt -- would be considered. The fund, whose start-up investors include the South African government-owned Public Investment Corporation (PIC) and Ghana's Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT), was now looking for more investors and financing partners inside and outside the continent. Some of the projects under consideration included an airport in West Africa, a toll road in Nigeria, a gas scheme in Namibia, a satellite covering the whole of Sub-Saharan Africa and investment in the massive Inga hydro-electric dam in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

 Source: Reuters, 2nd July 2007

Mozambique: Green Lobby Opposes Dam Construction

Mozambique is proposing to build another giant dam on the Zambezi River in the hope of boosting development, but which environmentalists believe will add to the damage caused by the existing Cahora Bassa dam, one of the largest hydroelectric schemes in Africa. The new dam, Mphanda Nkuwa, would be built approximately 60km downriver of Cahora Bassa in the northwest of the country. Planners intend to produce a peak output of 1,300 megawatts of electricity, about equal to Mozambique's total current consumption. Most of the power will be exported to neighbouring South Africa, although surplus electricity will also be used to lure investment in domestic heavy industry. The Export-Import Bank of China has said it would help finance the estimated US$2 billion project, which is yet to have a schedule for construction. Critics however say that few of the almost three million people living in the Zambezi Valley, including some 1,400 who would be displaced by the new dam, would not benefit, since the project would create few permanent jobs, while local populations would nonetheless bear all the environmental costs.  

Source: IRIN, 29th June 2007 

Angola: Capanda to Generate 520 Megawatts

Angola's Capanda hydroelectric dam in northern Malanje province will soon reach its full power generating capacity of 520 megawatts, with the installation of the remainder turbines. This was said Thursday in Luanda by the Minister of Energy and Water, Botelho de Vasconcelos, on the fringes of the 3rd broad consultative council of the Ministry. The Minister added that this producing capacity is not yet at the service of the Angolan companies and families, because of the weaknesses in the distribution network and the lack of transportation lines. The official said the Government is investing in the construction of power transportation lines, like those of Catumbela-Luanda and Capanda-Lucala-Ndalatando, that are expected to be ready this year, thus conveying the electricity stored in Capanda. The minister also spoke of the projects recently approved by the Government, meant for the construction of the Gabela-Quileva, Lucala-Pambos de Sonhe-Uíge conveying lines, branchings to Camabatela, Samba Caju, Negage and Maquela do Zombo. With regard to this, he explained that the projects include the construction of sub-stations and medium, low tension and public lighting networks, with a view to benefiting and creating business opportunities for national companies. He stated that the amount of electricity generated by the Capanda hydroelectic dam will be expanded to other localities of the country, as the needs in electric power until 2010 is estimated at 2,000 megawatts. To the minister, significant investments are required with the participation of the private sector with a view to the satisfaction of the huge demands by future investments from the sectors of industry, agriculture, services, public works, mining and housing. On the other hand, Botelho de Vasconcelos said integrated investments are being considered under the strategy for Ngove hydroelectric dam, through the construction of transportation lines and sub-stations, to serve the provinces of Huambo and Bié. 

Source: Angola Press Agency, 28th June 2007 

South Africa: GEF Renewable Energy Market Transformation Project

The World Bank Board of Directors today approved a project to establish policy and regulatory frameworks and build institutional capacity for renewable energy development in South Africa. The Renewable Energy Market Transformation Project has an overall cost of US$17.3 million, and is being funded by a US$6 million grant from the Global Environment Facility (GEF), US$2.3 million contribution from the South African government and US$9 million leveraged from the private sector. The project's objective, over a four-year period, is to remove the barriers and reduce implementation costs of renewable energy technologies to help mitigate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The Government’s White Paper on Renewable Energy has set a target of 4% of electricity demand (equivalent to 10,000 GWh) from renewable energy sources in 2013. This project aims to assist the government in meeting this target. The project will provide technical assistance and capacity building for renewables-based power generation and commercial solar water heating.

Source: The World Bank, 28th June 2007

Namibia: Government Pursues Wind for Alternative Energy

Namibia is now preparing to take alternative energy generation to the next level and make it a substantial part of the national power grid. The government issued a license to construct a wind-turbine farm that, if successful, could supply up to 25 percent of the country's energy needs. The Electricity Control Board (ECB) handed the licence over to Aeolus Power Generation Namibia, a joint venture between Dutch businessman Leo van Gastel and a Namibian partner, the United Africa Group. Both hold a 40 per cent stake in the venture and the remaining 20 per cent is reserved for future employees. Van Gastel intends to inject nearly N$1 billion (US$ 145 million) into the establishment of a large wind park that will generate 92 megawatt (MW) of electricity, roughly a quarter of Namibia's energy needs of approximately 400 MW. The proposed investment of 99 million euros provides for 102 wind turbines to be erected outside Luederitz, Oranjemund, Swakopmund, Henties Bay and Walvis Bay. The intention is to sell the electricity thus generated to NamPower to be fed into the national power grid. The cost of generation is estimated to be N$0,25 per kilowatt hour (KWh) and Aeolus intends to sell electricity to NamPower at N$0,35 per KWh. [Ed. note: the generation cost is equivalent to approximately US$0.04 per KWh, which is near the low end of utility-level wind farms]. 

Source: Africanpath.com 27th June 2007

AFREPREN/FWD Website news is published after careful verification of news items and figures. AFREPREN/FWD is, however, not responsible for any inaccuracies of the information sources

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