Search This Blog

Friday, 28 February 2014

GVEP Participates in the National Alliance’s Strategy Meeting to Strengthen Ugandan Cooking Stove Market

Key stakeholders of the Uganda National Alliance for Clean Cooking (UNACC) met for a two day retreat to consolidate objectives and execute plans to increase distribution channels and improve the country’s development of the cookstove market.

Representatives from the clean cookstoves, fuels and the wider renewable energy sectors, forming part of the National Alliance’s National Executive Committee (NEC), met on 20-21 February in Uganda to approve the first year’s operational action plan. The two day event is the first of its kind since the UNACC has affirmed its role as national co-ordinator of the clean cookstove sector in Uganda.

Discussions were held on forming new partnerships and joint ventures for resource mobilization; standards, testing and product development; market development and communication. Members deliberated on the most appropriate ways to secure further public and private engagement and presentations were given on internal structures and processes of the represented organisations.

GVEP International is recognized as an important development partner in the renewable energy sector and a leader on project delivery. Having recruited hundreds of energy entrepreneurs in programmes focussing on developing sustainable value chains in order to benefit both cookstove suppliers and retailers, as well as guaranteeing access to modern, affordable and clean renewable energy for millions of people. It is on this basis that GVEP was approached to share their expertise in setting up the National Alliance.

Joel Essien, an SME advisor representing GVEP at the meeting speaks of the expected outcomes from the collaboration: "Over the course of the year I hope to see GVEP further strengthen its leverage in the national cookstove sector and also continue to contribute positively as the lead on the distribution and market development task force, for the advantage of the entrepreneurs we support. This will involve close interactions with our strategic partners in the region," explained Mr Essien.

Currently, in Uganda, GVEP is working to establish distribution channels for improved cookstove businesses - hence enabling the products to reach new and underserved areas of Uganda. Engaging with UNACC as a leading strategic partner, will enable GVEP to extend this reach and create new synergies across the country.

GVEP is also one of the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves' most active partners throughout Africa, and was among the first recipients of its annual Spark Fund award, designed to help businesses enhance capacity and reach scale.

Posted by Meghan Smith 

Monday, 24 February 2014

Smuggling losses hamper DRC growth

Gold worth at least US$ 400-million dollars was smuggled out of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to Uganda and other east African countries last year.

The latest United Nations’ report assessing the smuggling racket says the money is used to finance the war in eastern DRC.

The 276-page report by the UN Group of Experts on the DRC names three Uganda-based families as “major illegal gold exporters in 2013.”

Armed conflict, corruption, poor quality of life for citizens, illegal mineral exploitation and interference from neighbouring countries in pursuit of mineral wealth remain major sources of instability in the DRC.

Obscure mining concessions in the DRC are said to be hampering the country’s economic growth. The Africa Progress Panel, after analysing five mining deals in the DRC late last year, said there was massive undervaluation of assets and sale to offshore companies.In total, the five deals have cost the country US$1.36 billion dollars, about twice the DRC’s combined annual budget in 2012 for health and education.

The UN group estimates that about US$ 271-million’s worth of gold – two-thirds of the total value of smuggled DRC-extracted gold – passed through Uganda last year. The Ugandan government lost an estimated US$2.7million dollars in tax revenues by failing to account for this trade, the UN report says.

Ethiopian mining revenue dips

The Ethiopian Ministry of Mines says the nation’s mineral industry has garnered US$ 172.6 million dollars in revenues in the first half of this budget year.

This represents a significant decrease in earnings of the sector, from about US$ 288 million dollars in the first six months of the last budgetary year.

According to a report by Walto Information Center, which quotes Bacha Faji, public relations head for the Ministry of Mines, the turnover is from exporting gold, marble, tantalum and gemstones.

Bacha revealed that the ministry failed to reach its target of US$ 1 billion dollars due to the worldwide slump in gold prices and the inability to attract more investors into the sector.Despite boasting bountiful reserves of many naturally occurring minerals, Ethiopia’s mining industry has grown at a very slow pace. For decades, gold was the highest earner in the industry. However, in the last 10 years, revenue from exporting other minerals has helped to increase Ethiopia’s net income from mining, although the industry seconds agriculture as the primary source of national income.

Botswana, Namibia to sign deal for coal railway

Botswana and Namibia will sign a deal at the end of this month to develop a 1 500-kilometre railway for transporting coal exports to the port of Walvis Bay, according to the Botswana Chamber of Mines, says Bloomberg.

“Technical glitches” delaying the Trans-Kalahari project have been resolved, said Charles Siwawa, chief executive officer of the chamber, in a phone interview last week. While he declined to give further details, Siwawa said the joint venture agreement, originally due to be signed last April, paves the way for funding initiatives and tenders.

Chinese and Indian demand for the more than 200 billion metric tons of coal in Botswana’s central Karoo basin could boost economic growth in the landlocked southern African nation, Siwawa said. The Trans-Kalahari line, which dovetails with Namibia’s plan to develop the port of Walvis Bay, requires an investment of about US$15 billion dollars, Siwawa said.

“It’s not clear yet where this financing will come from but we would like this project to proceed as soon as possible,” Siwawa said. “There are significant coal deposits in Botswana but we need an exit route for shipments to markets overseas. At the moment, Walvis Bay is the preferred route.”

Alternative export options include transporting the coal by rail to either South Africa’s Richards Bay or to Beira in Mozambique.

Paladin suspends Malawian operation

Paladin Energy is suspending production at its Kayelekera uranium mine in Malawi, calling the operation a substantial drain on its cash resources during the last three years.
The company told investors that the suspension will involve placing the operation on care and maintenance until the price of uranium recovers.

The move is expected to preserve the remaining ore body until Paladin decides to resume production profitably.

The price of uranium oxide has been depressed ever since March 2011, when the Fukushima earthquake and tsunami hit in Japan. Since then, the spot uranium price has more than halved from US 72.63 dollars per pound prior to Fukushima, to a current price of US 35.50 dollars per pound.

The government of Malawi holds a 15% interest in Paladin's African subsidiary Paladin (Africa) Limited (PAL), which holds the uranium mine in Malawi. The company said it will work with government authorities to implement the suspension, also a result of the "unsustainable" cash burden to maintain the loss-making operation.

"The Kayelekera mine has performed exceptionally well technically, with production levels recorded at or near nameplate capacity during the past 12 months and significant achievements made in PAL's cost reduction programme," said CEO John Borshoff.

Namibia closes deal for gas-to-power plant

Namibian power utility NamPower has reached a deal with Zambia’s Copperbelt Energy Corporation (CEC) to develop a much-delayed US$1.2-billion dollar gas-to-power plant in the sparsely populated desert country.

CEC will take a 30% stake in the Kudu project near Oranjemund in south-western Namibia, which will pump gas from the Kudu field about 170 km offshore to a combined cycle gas power plant. It will also buy up to 300 megwatts (MW) of electricity from the plant to supply mines in Zambia, Africa’s top copper producer.

Nampower will source US$ 1-billion dollars for the project while CEC is expected to contribute up to US 100-million dollars.Nampower is looking for another equity partner to finance the remaining US$100-million.

The plant will have a total capacity of up to 1,050 MW when completed in 2017, and will be connected to the Namibian and South African electricity grids for local and regional use.

Zimbabwe faces hike in power tariffs

Zimbabweans should brace for a hike in power tariffs from next month after revelations that the national power utility was charging way below the cost of production.

Operational inefficiencies at Zesa Holdings have compounded the situation, with the utility failing to curb power theft by electricity users, despite introducing prepaid meters.

Zimbabwe  Electricity Regulator CEO Gloria Magombo said a cost supply study conducted by an independent consultancy last year found that the national utility was incurring losses.

Mozambican power cuts raise business costs

Power cuts in the port city of Beira, and in other urban areas in the central Mozambican provinces of Sofala and Manica, reached a critical level early this month, causing enormous costs to business.

The cuts result from a major breakdown in the Chibata sub-station in Manica on January 29 and public electricity utility EDM has struggled to repair the damage. The sub-station is a key link in supplying electricity from Cahora Bassa Dam to the centre of the country.

EDM has imported some power from Zimbabwe but this is insufficient to cover demand and has therefore halted the rehabilitation of its own power station at Chicamba on the Revue River, which has been put it back into service. Chicamba and a second station on the river at Mavuzi were taken off-grid in January, when major upgrading began.

Egypt boosts energy from bio-waste

Suez Cement Companies Group and the Italian Italcementi Group inaugurated the first waste treatment plant in Egypt this month, with investments that amount to about €5-million.

The project is part of the Suez Cement Company’s strategy to boost the amount of energy it gets from fuel derived from bio-waste. The project uses about 45 000 tons of household waste to annually produce 35 000 tons of alternative fuel.

"The project will use the latest equipment and technologies available in this area," said Laila Eskander, Egypt's Minister of Environment Affairs. The ministry opposes imports of coal due to its negative effects on the environment and on people’s health.

Despite the country’s energy crisis, Suez Cement decided to stick to local law and contribute to solving the problem of waste as well, Laila said.

Ethiopia may supply power to Yemen

Ethiopian officials have confirmed that they are looking into a potential electricity deal with Yemen, says a report in Yemen Post. However, the commercial feasibility of the project has yet to be proven.

Misikir Negash, public relations heads for the Ethiopian Electric Power Corporation, was quoted as saying that the idea was not yet supported by study. He added that a study on technical matters will soon be launched. Yemeni Electricity official Farouk AbdulHamid said the deal has a strong chance of success.

Should studies prove encouraging, engineers explained that an electric cable could be made to join up Yemen via the Red Sea to relay power, and thus provide a steady and clean energy source. If feasible, the project will offer Yemen a practical solution to its ever-increasing energy needs.

Rwanda secures electricity loan

Rwanda and the African Development Bank have signed a US$ 40-million dollar agreement to fund the building of a 119km transmission line from Rusumo Power Plant to Birembo substation in Kinyinya, Gasabo, via the new Bugesera International Airport sub-station.

The concessional loan will support Rwanda's electricity access programme from 17% of households to 70% by 2018. Project beneficiaries will include households, industries, small and medium-sized enterprises, and businesses which will gain access to cheaper, more reliable and sustainable electricity.

Rusumo Falls Hydroelectric Power Plant is a regional project shared by Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi. The plant is expected to generate 80 megawatts (MW), to be equitably shared by among the three countries, each taking 26.6 MW.

Shell eyes Namibia’s offshore oil

Shell may drill offshore in Namibia, an area of growing interest for oil and gas explorers, says Izak Katali, the southern African country's minister of mines and energy.

Shell has taken over exploration blocks 2 913A and 2 914B in the Orange Basin from Signet Petroleum, with the Anglo-Dutch group acquiring a 90% stake in the two blocks and Namibian national oil company Namcor keeping its 10% carried interest.

Signet Petroleum's 42% shareholder Polo Resources, which is listed on London's junior AIM market, said in a statement last week that Signet had sold its interests in the two blocks, “to a major international oil company in a confidential transaction”.

Polo gave no indication of how much the interest had been sold for except to say that it expected a “significant return” for Polo, which will provide more details as they become available.

Saturday, 22 February 2014

Kenya - Demand vs supply a delicate balance for energy planners

Up in his 21st Floor Nyayo House office, Energy secretary Davis Chirchir speaks passionately about his 40-month plan to bring to an end Kenya’s perennial energy crisis.
With neatly drawn chats on the wall showing project timelines, Mr Chirchir sees his ministry as pivotal to improving Kenya’s business environment by making it a low-cost energy economy.
“Our plan is to reduce the cost of power to an average of 6 US cents per unit consumed through diversification and efficient supply,” he said.
But power economists have faulted his demand projections, saying it was prepared ‘haphazardly by several players pushing sectarian interests’.
“It is based on false load growth assumptions and unrealistic target dates,” says Hindpal S. Jabbal, the lead author of a the new report on Kenya’s power sector, citing the many instances where demand has been overstated.
Mr Chirchir’s power sector investment plan has, for instance, allocated 1,171MW to the standard gauge railway but independent studies show that the Kenya-Uganda electric train can only consume 100MW factoring in maximum passenger and cargo trips.
A separate document authored by the Ministry of Energy and seen by Business Daily puts the energy needs for the standard gauge railway (Mombasa- Nairobi-Malaba, Kisumu) at 18MW.
This puts to question the Jubilee government’s ‘5000+MW’ plan that is aimed at ‘transforming Kenya into a least cost economy with adequate capacity at a competitive tariff.’
The government has also set aside 675MW for Konza Technopolis and other ICT parks, which is four and a half times more than 150MW projected by independent studies.
An iron and steel melting industry to be constructed in Meru by 2015 is expected to consume 315MW over a period of seven years based on an average production of 13.5 million tonnes, a brief from the Energy ministry says.
The project is yet to take off but Mr Chirchir has marked 2,000MW to the iron and steel melting factory.
The Lapsset project, whose ground-breaking was done in March 2012 but has since seen little activity, is allocated 350MW but against independent projections that it would absorb no more than 100MW.
The Lamu port has 32 berths and each terminal is estimated to consume 4MW translating to 128MW upon completion in 2030.
Further, due to the waxy nature of the crude oil in South Sudan, Kenya and Uganda, a heated pipeline will be necessary to transport the crude oil from the fields to the Lamu port for export or to a refinery, creating additional demand for electricity.
Special economic zones, due to replace the current Export Processing Zones (EPZ) in 2015, are forecast to require about 50MW to power the industries to be located in these parks.
By David Herbling

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Bamburi Cement sign a Power Generation deal to produce electricity in Mombasa County, Kenya

Bamburi Cement Tuesday, 18th February, signed a US$55mln  deal with Mombasa county to build a power generation plant from the city’s garbage.
The Nairobi bourse-listed firm plans to collect Mombasa’s solid waste and use it to generate power for its cement factory to cut reliance on diesel-fired generators and electricity in production.
Bamburi wants to curb costs through cheaper energy in the race to defend its market following a vicious price war that has intensified with the entry of new players such as National Cement, Savannah Cement and Mombasa Cement.
Conversion of municipal solid waste to energy offers the twin advantages of generating cheap power for Bamburi and conserving the environment in Mombasa.
“We are keen on utilising alternative fuels derived from solid waste to reduce use of fossil fuels, preserve natural resources and reduce carbon dioxide emissions to improve climate change,” said Hussein Mansi, managing director at Bamburi Cement.
The deal will see Bamburi, its anchor shareholder Lafarge and the French government invest US$31million in funding a feasibility study and providing expertise and equipment to help boost the county’s waste management capacity.
The study will help establish the viability of the power project and the capacity that can be generated from Mombasa’s solid waste.
Bamburi has also offered land valued at US$22million that will handle the solid waste management as well as the power plant whose capacity and construction timelines were not disclosed.
The power plant may also emerge as a revenue stream for Bamburi if it generates excess electricity to inject to the national grid.
The energy regulator has fixed the feed-in-tariff for biomass and biogas at $0.10 per kilowatt hour.
Bamburi Cement energy cost was US$92million in the year to December 2012, equivalent to nearly a third or 29.3 per cent of the cement maker’s total costs of US$314million.
This has forced the firm to turn to environmentally friendly biomass as a substitute for fossil fuel, which is expensive.
Costs are emerging as profit and market share drivers in a market where cement prices are trading at a 12-year low on a market share war triggered by new entrants.

Bamburi joins other firms such as Mumias and Imenti Tea Factory which generate their own power and sell excess capacity to the national grid.

Bamburi in 2012 began using biomass fuels like coffee husks, rice husks and palm kernel waste at its Hima factory in Uganda to cut energy costs.
A study funded by Danish agency Danida shows that Mombasa, with a population of about 950,000, produces 750 tonnes of waste daily — with less than half of it collected and mostly dumped at Kibarani and Mwakirunge.
Nairobi County in September, 2013 last year signed a US$318million. deal with German firm Sustainable Energy Management AG to set up a 70 megawatt power plant at the city’s Dandora dumpsite.
By Wachira Mwangi

Monday, 10 February 2014

Hwange expansion stalls

Plans to expand the thermal Hwange Power Station (HPS) have stalled after the Chinese contractor who won the right to undertake the project, China Machinery Engineering Company, failed to secure funding eight months after winning the tender, says Zimbabwe Business News.
Zimbabwe produces about 1,200 megawatts (MW) against demand at peak periods of 2,200MW.

Government, through the Zimbabwe Power Company, is working to close the deficit by expanding HPS for an additional 600MW and Kariba South for 300MW. Zimbabwe has not invested in expansion capacity since independence.Zimbabwe Power Company managing director Noah Gwariro said while the company had made significant progress on funding for the Kariba South expansion, things looked grim for HPS with the contractor failing to honour obligations.

“It has taken too long to conclude the funding arrangement, it is more than eight months since it won the tender for Hwange.

“They have not showed us the term sheet, which explains whether the funding is a loan or grant. The term sheet would also show terms of the funding arrangement. They over promised on what they could do on the funding,” Gwariro said.

Expansion of HPS requires US$1.3 billion dollars, but the cost will increase to US 2-billion dollars including interest during construction, cost of supervising the project, maintenance reserve and funds required for coal supplies.

Tanzania moves towards employment quotas

Tanzania’s parliamentary standing committee on energy and minerals has challenged the government over the dominance of foreign companies in the production of natural gas, a worrying development, notes

Not only is the committee challenging the dominance of foreign companies, but they are calling for measures to be taken to favour local companies, an idea that is gaining momentum. The main hurdle to more local involvement, however, remains the high cost of exploration, which makes it difficult for local companies to compete.

The same people are urging the government to repossess mining sites awarded to foreign companies in cases where development has not proceeded as planned.

Rwanda to raise power generation

Rwanda plans to increase the country's installed power capacity from 110.8 megawatts (MW) to 563MW by 2017, says Silas Lwakabamba, Minister for Infrastructure, in the New Times.
Lwakabamba said to achieve the target, an estimated US$1.8billion dollars will be required to annually increase power generation by at least 100MW for the next four years and help sustain the expected growth across all sectors of the economy.

However, Edward Ndayisaba, chairman of Energy Private Developers Association, said members' efforts are always curtailed by a host of challenges, including a lack of clear policy to guide private investment in the energy sector and reluctancy by banks to fund them.He added that procedures on how developers can acquire sites for hydro-power development are not clear and the sector has complex and unfair tender requirements.

Japan to fund Mozambique power plant

Japan is to spend US$174-million building a new gas-fired power plant in Mozambique to help the southern African nation's fast-growing economy keep up with electricity demand, the national power utility is quoted as saying in The Africa Report.

Mozambique has seen a spike in foreign investment since it hit on huge gas reserves, but power shortages threaten the development of industry and economic growth.

Power demand, which is at about 800 megawatts (MW) at peak times, already outstrips supply of around 700MW in the former Portuguese colony, whose economy is expected to grow by 14% this year.

"The construction of infrastructure will not only increase the availability and quality of electricity in the south of the country, but aims to ensure a back-up to the city of Maputo," said Fernando Augusto de Sousa, CE of Electricidade de Mocambique at the signing of the agreement in January.

Africa Energy Indaba - 18-20 February 2014

Bringing Together Africa’s Energy Leaders

The Africa Energy Indaba brings together international and continental experts to share their insights and solutions to Africa’s energy crisis, while simultaneously exploring the vast energy development opportunities on offer in Africa!

Adopted by the World Energy Council (WEC) as the African regional event of the WEC and presented by the South African National Energy Association (SANEA), the Africa Energy Indaba is supported by the African Union and the NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency. As such, the Africa Energy Indaba has achieved the highest level of endorsement and support for an energy conference on the continent.

This year, the Africa Energy Indaba is proudly hosted by the Gauteng Growth and Development Agency (GGDA), with the Gauteng Provincial Department of Infrastructure and Development (GPDID) coming on board as the exhibition host.



  • Access to over 60 energy industry speakers from across Africa and the world
  • Learn about new energy projects in Africa and how you can paticipate and do business with these projects
  • Attend the exhibition and meet with leading energy suppliers and view new energy technologies
  • Unlocking business opportunities in the African Energy sector by attending the official networking functions
  • Meet and engage with this year's high-level speakers, exhibitors, sponsors and delegates, at a one-on-one private meeting, at the event  through the Africa Energy Indaba 2014 Business Matchmaking Programme
Monday 17 February 2014

– World Energy Council Regional Meeting
    by invitation only
– SANEA Welcome Dinner
   by invitation only
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Wednesday 19 February 2014

 Identification of Renewable Energy Zones for the Africa Clean Energy Corridor
    by invitation only
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Thursday 20 February 2014

– Africa Energy Projects Roundtable Proudly brought to you by Santam
    to book email

– SE4ALL – Interactive Seminar
to book email

– Africa Energy Nuclear Forum
to book email

– Bankable IPP’s and PPA’s workshop
to book email
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 
Friday 21 February 2014

– Site visit to Solar Rooftop Installation in Midrand, bought to you by Green Habitat        
to book email
To secure your participation at this prestigious event, please please contact us on:

Tel:  +27 11 463 9184   l   Fax: +27 11 463 8432   l    Email:
                       Proudly brought to you by                                                                      Strategic partners
Follow this link to unsubscribe

Sunday, 2 February 2014

Canadian firm to lose oil exploration licence in Kenya

The Kenyan Energy Secretary Davis Chirchir has refused to renew the exploration licence of Vanoil Energy Limited on the grounds that it has no capacity to explore for oil in allocated blocks in northern Kenya,Sunday Nation has learnt.
Documents seen by Sunday Nation show that Vanoil, a company whose financiers are registered in the Cayman Islands, had been allocated oil blocks 3A and 3B in Garissa.
“Taking into account that Vanoil has not fulfilled minimum work and expenditure obligations for the initial exploration and that it also does not possess or has not demonstrated the financial ability required, I shall not be granting any further term extension for the block 3A and 3B respectively. The contract shall thus expire automatically,” Mr Chirchir said in a December 27 letter to Vanoil CEO Samuel Malin.
Mr Malin did not reply to emailed questions, but his representatives came to the Sunday Nation asking that the story be delayed until Monday when Mr Malin would be ready to respond.
“In Kenya, Vanoil holds a 100 per cent interest in onshore blocks 3A and 3B, acquired in October 2007 through the signing of a production sharing contract (PSC) with the government of Kenya,” says a document posted on Vancouver stock exchange website and signed by Vanoil chairman James Passin.
Mr Passin further says the company anticipates ‘the receipt of its 10 per cent working interest in the highly prospective 5,110km sq block L9 alongside Dominion Petroleum Kenya limited and Far limited. This block lays directly south of Block 8 which hosts the Mbawa gas discovery made in 2012”.
On its website, Vanoil describes itself as “a Canadian oil and gas company with a portfolio of assets in East Africa and in the Republic of Seychelles.”
Mr Chirchir cast doubt on Vanoil’s exploration ability following an analysis of their financial statement.
“Both the audited and management accounts provide a clear picture that Vanoil is in a difficult financial position, and this poses a serious challenge to the fulfilment of your minimum work and expenditure obligations,” Mr Chirchir said.
Subsequently, he wonders whether Vanoil can complete their work on time considering that they have had four previous extensions in vain.
“Vanoil signed the two PSC’s for block 3A and 3B on 16th October 2007 and since then, the duration of the PSC’s has been extended four times for various reasons as contained in our letter of December 11, 2013. The initial exploration was to run for three years and expected to come to an end on January 2011,” says Mr Chirchir.
But on December 17, 2013, Mr Malin defended Vanoil’s position. He told Mr Chirchir in a letter that the company had been affected by factors beyond their control.
This story was first published in the Sunday Nation.
By Andrew Teyie