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Saturday, 27 April 2013

Tanzania pivotal to East Africa's energy resources

Tanzania is becoming pivotal in east Africa for oil and natural gas exploration, having led the region in new discoveries of natural gas in 2012, says London-based Chatham House.

With known gas reserves of about 7,5-billion cubic feet, the potential to transform Tanzania's international standing and domestic electricity production is considerable. However, recent protests against the construction of a pipeline to Dar es Salaam highlight the challenges that Tanzania faces in ensuring that the benefits of its natural resources are widely felt.

The country has 8% of the 1 652-billion barrels of proven oil reserves globally. However by 2020, Africa will hold about 20% of the world’s reserves due to ongoing discoveries and resource recovery from known reservoirs that are currently inaccessible.

The case is similar for total proven gas reserves. Out of 208-trillion cubic metres globally, Africa holds 7%. Tanzania has sedimentary basins with considerable energy reserves due to its geological and structural composition. The inland basins and modern rift system consist of 114,000 square kilometres (km2), the coastal and continental shelf basins are 280 000 km2 while the deep sea basins are 140 000 km2, giving Tanzania a total area of 534 000 km2 of resource-rich sedimentary basins.

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Kenyan firm Rea Vipingo contracts Germany's EnBW to build wind power farm.

Last year NSE listed agricultural firm Rea Vipingo announced plans to start producing wind power at the Kenyan Coast. The plan is to produce 48 megawatts of power from 24 turbines each with a capacity of 2MW and installed on 80 meters high towers in Kilifi County.
EnBW Kraftwerke AG a German renewable energy company has won the tender to develop the power project.
“What is being looked into right now is feasibility study to starting larger generators in Vipingo, and the Germany Company EnBW is looking forward to provide solution of renewable energy for Mombasa County,” said Mr Ingo Badoreck, the Resident representative of the Delegation of German Industry and Commerce in Kenya after paying a courtesy call to Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho.
Rea Vipingo has in the past stated that inconsistent power supply as one of its major operational challenges.
“Poor and inconsistent mains power supply necessitates the use of expensive stand-by generators at all locations on a regular, almost daily basis,” said the company’s management in its last annual report.
Energy costs have been listed as one of the factors discouraging the setting up of production factories in Kenya with companies opting for Egypt and South Africa.
The energy produced by Rea Vipingo at the Kilifi wind farm will be transmitted to the national grid and also used to supplement the company's energy needs at location.
“The turbines will be connected via a medium voltage electrical transformers, which will be buried underground leading to an onsite substation. The substation will then be connected to the national grid,” reads the NEMA statement.
The wind farm could become the fourth major wind power generation project in addition to 
1. A 5.1 megawatt plant owned by the Kenya Electricity Generating (KenGen) Company, which is already operational,
2. The planned 100 megawatt plant by American company, GE Energy,
3. A 50 megawatt wind farm to be located in Ngong Hills area associated to the Kenyatta family. The 50 megawatt farm to be set up by Prunus Energy Limited, in which Ngengi Muigai is chairman, is estimated to cost Sh11 billion.
The three wind farms above are all in the Ngong Hills just outside Nairobi. The Vipingo farm would be the the first one away from Nairobi. 
According to reliable sources, the much publicized Lake Turkana Wind Power(LTWP) 300MW project planned for Turkana County, in the North of Kenya may not take off or may be extensively downsized due to technical challenges. Also see Wind power in Kenya why all the delays?

Monday, 22 April 2013

Kenya and Spain sign a deal for Nairobi's power Infrastructure upgrade

The Kenya Electricity Transmission Company (Ketraco) has signed a multi-billion power transmission project with a Spanish construction company, Iberdrola Ingenieria y Construccion, to build the 220 kilovolt (kV) ring around Nairobi, the country’s metropolitan area.

The substation project will be financed by Agence Francaise de Development (AFD) and the Kenyan government. It will offer a future evacuation outlet for the 280 megawatt Olkaria Geothermal Power Plant currently under construction, which cannot reach the city through the existing Nairobi North 220 kV double circuit transmission lines.

The ring project will also allow for power from Ethiopia and Lake Turkana Wind Project to also reach the capital, which accounts for about 50% of the Kenya power demand. The ring will involve construction of new 220kV substations in Isinya, Suswa, Ngong, Athi River, Koma Rock and expansion works in the existing Dandora substation.

Through the Suswa and Isinya substations power can then be transferred to and from other parts of the country, for example the future Konza ICT city and even to neighbouring countries like Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo and Ethiopia, thereby realising the dream of regional power trade

Monday, 8 April 2013

Africa to emerge as one of the "strongest areas of GDP growth"

Africa's exploding population, estimated to grow by an additional 800-million from 2010 to 2040, will double energy demand within the same period. The continent's population will reach 1,79-billion by 2040, second only to Asia Pacific's 4,59-billion, says ExxonMobil.

Africa's GDP is expected to grow by an average of about 4% annually through 2040. An exploding population and rising GDP will make huge demands on energy resources.

Africa's energy demand is set to more than double from 29-quadrillion British thermal units (Btu) in 2010, to include 61-quadrillion Btu by 2040. Oil and wood-based biomass will account for 60% of the energy source in the future.

Natural gas and coal together will account for 36%. Interestingly, ExxonMobil expects Africa's renewable energy sources to be negligible. Africa's electricity demand is estimated to rise 335% over the next 30 years, as incomes rise and legions of Africans move into the middle-income bracket.

Courtesy of The Brooke Pattrick Publications

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Karuma Dam in Uganda may be funded by the Chinese

The proposed Karuma Dam in Uganda which is envisioned to be the biggest dam in Uganda producing upto 600MW of electricity may soon have the Chinese Government backing it as a financier.

This is following frustration by H.E. President Yoweri Museveni with his Ministry of Energy officials, due to the delay in procuring of an EPC(Engineering, Procurement & Construction) partner for the proposed hydropower dam.

Last week, 28th March, 2013 The President took control of the project and boarded a plane for the BRICS summit in Durban, South Africa, where he presented it to the Chinese President Xi JinPing as one of his priority projects.

In addition to seeking funding he also requested the Chinese delegation to seek a credible contractor after two Chinese firms that were being eyed as potential EPC partners for the project were found to be wanting in terms of the information they presented to qualify for the project. All over Africa there have been instances where Chinese companies put the Chinese government and its people in bad light by being overly greedy and unorthodox in the sourcing and implementation of projects. This is something the Chinese government has to reign in to redeem its country’s image even as it offers over USD20billion annually in unconditional loans to African countries for major infrastructural projects.

Uganda is seeking funding for the project after several key western donors withdrew their backing for the country’s budget. This necessitated the US$ 600M that was to be made available for the project to be redirected to the government's recurrent budget. As western governments and institutions back down due to economic slowdown in their economies and ethical & moral stands, the BRICS(Brazil, Russia, India, China and now South Africa) especially China are seen as an alternative to fill the gap as financiers in less strings attached financing arrangements.

Reports from the Summit suggest that Chinese government agreed to fund the project through the Exim Bank of China.

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Kenya Blog Awards 2013 Nominee - Best New Blog

Dear Reader,

We would like to thank you very much for your continued support, encouragement and reading.

Because of you, we the East African Energy Blog ( have been nominated for the BAKE Kenyan Blog Awards 2013 in the category of Best New Blog.

To vote for us kindly go to

Inset you name and email address,

Under the 8. Best New Blog select

You may also wish to vote for other blogs in other categories.

Then submit your vote.

Thank you very much for your continued support. East African energy resources are the key to economic development, not only for Kenya but for the greater east African region. We work to promote and enlighten you about this.

We thank the Bloggers Association of Kenya(BAKE) and its event sponsors and partners for organizing and promoting these awards.