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Projects and Energy Weekly Snippets

14 November 2014

Rwanda now 7% Solar
Poorer African countries are moving towards greener technology such as geothermal, solar and wind and entering into decade long power purchase agreements to encourage investment with independent power producers.
In Rwanda, US-based Gigawatt Global connected an 8.5 MW farm east of Kigali to the grid earlier this year. The $24-million farm now accounts for 7% of Rwanda's power supply.
Gigawatt Global's Sarah Halevi said the company was seeing strong demand in both west and east Africa. The company plans to build 200 MW within the next 18 months in Nigeria and is targeting a 1000 MW pipeline.
13 November 2014 - Engineering News

African enterprises turn to sunshine
A growing number of African enterprises have begun utilising the continents’ best source of energy to keep their businesses running.
Williamson Tea has installed a 1 MW plant at an estate in the Rift Valley, lowering grid reliance and reducing the need for backup generators. SolarCentury, who was contracted by Williamson Tea, has also been contracted to build an 858 KW plant on the parking lot of a Nairobi mall, and says there is a potential for 40 MW pipeline across east African countries.
The 48 countries of sub-Saharan Africa, with a population of 800 million, produce approximately the same amount of power as Spain, a country of just 46 million people. South Africa this week added 96 MW to its grid with the launch of the largest solar park on the continent in the remote and sparsely-populated Northern Cape province. Africa's most advanced economy is a solar power outlier, with over 500 MW installed.
13 November 2014 - Engineering News

4.5 MW hydropower plant begins construction in the Free State
Construction has commenced on the 4.5 MW Stortemelk hydropower plant in the Free State, with Aurecon having been appointed the engineering, procurement and construction management services provider for the project.
Aurecon said that the hydropower plant had to be built between two existing dams without affecting their operations and stability and, therefore, the construction would require deep excavations through the Botterkloof dam embankment between the Botterkloof dam and the Boston A dam spillways.

Aurecon project director Bertrand Rochecouste Collet said this was the first time an EPCM contractual structure had been used under the South African Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme.

11 November 2014 - Engineering News

Renewable energy too weak to provide grid power
Rob Jeffrey, Econometrix MD and senior economist, said on 12 November 2014 that if carbon costs were excluded, wind, nuclear and solar energy generation sources were considerably more expensive than coal-fired energy sources. Wind and solar power generation projects depended largely on subsidies and required almost equivalent traditional power back-up, and power was often expensive to store.
He said the only viable sources of baseload power for South Africa in the next 150 years are coal, nuclear and shale gas and that renewable energy is just too expensive and unreliable. Furthermore, he opines that we need to explore shale gas and gas as a matter of urgency and introduce gas-fired power stations that are initially liquified natural gas-based with a view to developing shale and other gas deposits in future. In addition to this, South Africa needs to build three or more gas-fired power stations and at least two major coal-fired power stations based on cleaner technology, proceeding with possibly one nuclear power station if the costs of other renewables are not reduced.

11 November 2014 - Engineering News

NPC plans to resolve energy crisis
In the coming months, the National Planning Commission (NPC) is aiming to organise a series of meetings between public and private stakeholders in the energy sector in order to alleviate the current obstacles that the market is facing and to increase private sector investment.

7 November 2014 - Engineering News

NPC plans for energy sector future
Three commissioners from the NPC as well as representatives from the South African National Energy Association (SANEA) brought together executives from all facets of the energy industry, including senior managers from Eskom.  The meeting was as a result of the load shedding incident on 2 November 2014 following the dramatic loss of output power at Majuba power station.
One of the key highlights of the meeting was the need for industry and institutional reform in light of the stalled legislative process designed to level the playing field between Eskom and independent power producers (IPPs) through the introduction of an Independent System and Market Operator outside of Eskom.
MD of SANEA, Brian Day, said the idea would be to canvass these issues with government in an effort to come up with collective actions to deal with the immediate crisis and set up action-oriented process for addressing some of the longer-term structural problems.
It is hoped that the initial meetings would be held either before the end of the year or early in 2015.

7 November 2014 - Engineering News

 The above reflects a summary of certain news articles published during the preceding week. It is not an expression of opinion in respect of each matter, nor may it be considered as a disclosure of advice by any employee of Hogan Lovells.


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