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Hydropower News

Privatisation slowly becoming reality

By: Tracy Hancock     20th March 2020 The type of participants attending this year’s Power & Electricity World Africa & The Solar Show are proof that Africa seeks to become less reliant on governments for its electricity supply, says event organiser Terrapinn Power & Electricity World Africa conference producer Caroline Mubima.... 

Africa can develop on low-carbon growth path

By: Tracy Hancock     20th March 2020 Choosing between a low-carbon future and Africa’s economic growth is a false dichotomy, as these goals do not need to be in competition, says independent power producer Pele Energy Group founder Fumani Mthembi, a speaker at this year’s Power & Electricity World Africa. “The global investment... 

Africa can develop on low-carbon growth path
SUNNY DISPOSITION The global investment sector is increasingly more interested in funding renewable-energy projects, such as solar farms, as opposed to coal projects

Collaboration needed in electrical sector

By: Tracy Hancock     20th March 2020 South Africa’s entire electrical sector needs a “shake up” and a lot more collaboration, Electrical Conformance Board of South Africa (ECBSA) MD Peter Pedrick has learnt since taking up his position in May last year. Historically, South Africa was internationally recognised for its effective... 

Collaboration needed in electrical sector
FIRE STARTER There has been a significant rise in fire damage in South Africa over the past ten years amid a lack of regulation policing and governance

Re-engineering of coal sector skills needed

By: Tracy Hancock     20th March 2020 The South African renewable-energy sector will not have an adequate pipeline of competent individuals to train if it does not endeavour to re-engineer the skills of workers in the Limpopo and Mpumalanga coal mining regions, South African Renewable Energy Technology Centre (Saretec) director Naim... 

Re-engineering of coal sector skills needed
Jacobs Transport strives to be a reliable and ethical company, providing its clients with the most efficient services possible.

IRP to be reviewed frequently, says DMRE

By: Kim Cloete     3rd March 2020 The Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) says it has started with its work to implement the Integrated Resources Plan (IRP) 2019 from a policy and regulatory point of view. A Section 34 determination is needed to operationalise the IRP 2019, which supports a diverse energy mix. 

IRP to be reviewed frequently, says DMRE

Ethiopia asks US to postpone final talks on Blue Nile dam

By: Reuters     26th February 2020 Ethiopia has asked the United States to postpone what was expected to be the final round of talks on the giant Blue Nile hydropower dam, it said on Wednesday, delaying the potential resolution of a dispute that sparked a years-long diplomatic crisis. "We have asked that we need more time for... 

Nigeria clears hurdle for Africa’s second-biggest hydro plant

By: Bloomberg     21st February 2020 Nigeria will build the second-largest hydroelectric plant in Africa after the government settled a legal dispute that was delaying the project, Power Minister Sale Mamman said. “We have now overcome the major problem stopping this project and it is nearly over,” Mamman said in an interview in... 

As South Africa prepares to resume renewables procurement, new global report points to rising popularity of auctions 

By: Terence Creamer     21st February 2020 As South Africa prepares to restart its electricity procurement programmes, following a five-year hiatus, the global popularity of competitive auctions as the preferred instrument for procuring renewable energy has again been highlighted in a newly released report. Published by the International... 

As South Africa prepares to resume renewables procurement, new global report points to rising popularity of auctions

Uganda says Chinese firm applies to build $1.4bn power plant on the Nile

By: Reuters     12th February 2020 A Chinese firm has applied to Ugandan authorities for a licence to develop a $1.4-billion hydropower plant that could potentially expand the country's generation capacity by 40% according to a regulatory official and papers seen by Reuters. The firm, POWERCHINA International Group Limited (PIGL),... 

South Africa to fast-track continental infrastructure projects

By: Bloomberg     10th February 2020 South Africa will fast-track four continent-wide infrastructure projects in which it’s involved, including a $14-billion dam on the Congo river, President Cyril Ramaphosa said as the country assumed the chair of the African Union (AU) in Addis Ababa. The country will drive the Inga III power... 

DRC to benefit from rise in global copper demand  

By: Kim Cloete     5th February 2020 Canadian mining company Ivanhoe Mines chairperson Robert Friedland is capitalising on the rising need for more copper globally, with a mission to restore the Democratic Republic of Congo’s (DRC's) position as the number one producer of copper metal in the world. Friedland told the 2020 Investing... 

DRC to benefit from rise in global copper demand
Ivanhoe Mines chairperson Robert Friedland addresses the Investing in African Mining Indaba. Video and editing: Nicholas Boyd.

Spain's ACS withdraws from Inga 3 hydro project in Congo

By: Reuters     22nd January 2020 Spain's ACS is withdrawing from the multibillion-dollar Inga 3 hydroelectric project in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the company said on Tuesday, dealing a further setback to plans to develop Africa's largest hydro plant. A consortium led by Actividades de Construccion y Servicios signed a... 

Malawi seeking a strategic investor for 350 MW hydropower plant

By: Marcel Chimwala     17th January 2020 The Malawi Government is seeking a strategic investor to develop the 350 MW Mpatamanga Hydro Power Plant on the Shire River, which is estimated to cost US$472-million.   

Egypt, Ethiopia, Sudan agree to US-brokered deal over Nile dam

By: Bloomberg     16th January 2020 Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan said they reached an agreement on the operation of a giant dam on a Nile tributary, a sign of easing tensions in the region. The countries issued a joint statement along with the US and World Bank, which had participated as observers at meetings in Washington this week.... 

Zimbabwe power utility in talks with Afreximbank on debt plan

By: Bloomberg     13th January 2020 Zimbabwe’s State electricity utility is in talks with the African Export–Import Bank to help clear $70-million of arrears it owes power producers in neighbouring South Africa and Mozambique. Zesa Holdings needs to repay the debt to avoid having supplies shut off. Zimbabwe relies on imports... 

Zimbabwe power utility in talks with Afreximbank on debt plan

Ethiopia seeks mediation over Nile dam deadlock with Egypt

By: Bloomberg     13th January 2020 Ethiopia’s Prime Minister asked South Africa’s President to intervene in the Nile dam deadlock between Egypt and his country. The three countries and neighboring Sudan are being hosted by the US Treasury for negotiations in Washington on Monday. 

Ethiopia warns of last chance to reach agreement on $5bn dam

By: African News Agency      10th January 2020 Ethiopia has warned of a “last chance” to reach an agreement on the filling and operation of the $5-billion dam being built by Addis Ababa (the country’s commercial and cultural hub) on the Nile.  According to Anadolu Agency (AA), Ethiopia, Egypt and Sudan have been in talks on the Grand... 

Renewable-energy projects well under way

By: Darren Parker     13th December 2019 Construction on several Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP) fourth bid window projects are well under way. The REIPPPP fourth window bids include 12 wind farms, 12 solar photovoltaic (PV) projects, a biomass project, a mini-hydro project and a concentrated... 

Renewable-energy projects well under way
BLADE RUNNING About half of the turbine components had been delivered to Kangnas and Perdekraal Wind Farms in October

Success of renewables programme continues

By: Darren Parker     13th December 2019 Over the past eight years, the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP) has attracted about R209.4-billion in committed private-sector investment, with the successful fourth window bids being valued at about R56-billion. South African companies, such as... 

Success of renewables programme continues
WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY 27 preferred bidders signed agreements last year and their respective renewable energy projects are well underway

Additional renewable energy development zones proposed

13th December 2019 The second phase of the Strategic Environmental Assessment for wind and solar photovoltaic (PV) energy in South Africa proposes three additional renewable energy development zones for wind and solar PV energy projects. The renewable energy development zones support the responsible implementation... 

Additional renewable energy development zones proposed
RENEWABLE ENERGY DEVELOPMENT ZONES The Phase 2 proposed zones support the responsible implementation of the Integrated Resource Plan 2019

Water project underway and making progress

13th December 2019 Last month, the official ground-breaking function for Phase II of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project (LHWP) took place and was attended by Kingdom of Lesotho Minister of Water Samonyane Ntsekele and South Africa Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation Minister Lindiwe Sisulu. “Implementing Phase... 

Water project underway and making progress
DAM BIG PROJECT The site of the 2.3-billion-cubic-metre Polihali dam

Environmental studies essential to REIPP success

By: Darren Parker     13th December 2019 In most renewable-energy independent power producer (REIPP) project cases, environmental sensitivities can be successfully avoided if developers embrace advice given by environmental consultants during the environmental impact assessment (EIA) stage. This enables developers to better ensure that... 

Environmental  studies essential  to REIPP success
NOT WINGING IT Embracing the advice given by professional environmental consultants early on can lead to the avoidance of many environmental issues

Zambia's power supply deficit worsens as water levels sink

By: Reuters     12th December 2019 Zambia's electricity supply shortage increased to 810 MW in November from around 750 MW in September, State power firm Zesco said on Thursday, adding it would quickly commission new power plants to plug the gap. Africa's second-biggest copper producer has seen electricity supply dwindle due to... 

Uganda's Umeme gets $70m loan for national grid expansion

By: Reuters     12th December 2019 Umeme, the Ugandan power distributor, said on Thursday it has secured $70-million in a syndicated loan to fund infrastructure upgrades and grid expansion. The loan was agreed with the World Bank's private lending arm IFC, South Africa's Standard Bank and Dutch development bank FMO. 

Water levels at world’s biggest dam sink to two-decade low

By: Bloomberg     10th December 2019 The Kariba dam has plunged to its lowest level since 1996, raising further risks to the hydropower plants that Zimbabwe and Zambia depend on for nearly half of their power. Water levels at the world’s largest man-made freshwater reservoir that straddles the two countries, fell to 10% of usable... 

Victoria Falls shrink to a trickle, feeding climate change fears

By: Reuters     6th December 2019 For decades Victoria Falls, where southern Africa's Zambezi river cascade down 100 metres into a gash in the earth, have drawn millions of holidaymakers to Zimbabwe and Zambia for their stunning views. But the worst drought in a century has slowed the waterfalls to a trickle, fuelling fears that... 

Zimbabwe miners appeal to Minister over power-supply failure

By: Bloomberg     26th November 2019 Zimbabwe’s mining industry has appealed to the government for help, saying output is slumping as the state-owned power company fails to honour electricity-supply contracts. Zesa Holdings has broken its promise to “ring-fence” supplies to miners, Zimbabwe’s Chamber of Mines wrote in a letter last... 

Zim set to benefit from pumped hydroelectric energy storage power plant

By: Simone Liedtke     25th November 2019 With Zimbabwe currently experiencing up to 18 hours of load-shedding daily, business development service provider Ngonyezi Projects executive director Tomas Persson says the company’s pumped hydroelectric energy storage power plant at Osborne dam, in Zimbabwe, will contribute to the reduction of... 

Angola may seek almost half the power from a $14bn Congo hydro plant

By: Bloomberg     11th November 2019 Angola may buy as much as 5 000 MW from neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo’s proposed $14-billion hydropower plant. In its current design, the Inga III dam would be the biggest hydropower plant in Africa, generating 11 050 MW. The two partners developing the project – one Chinese, one... 

Egypt, Ethiopia, Sudan to try to resolve dam dispute by January 15

By: Reuters     7th November 2019 The foreign ministers of Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan agreed on Wednesday to work toward resolving their dispute over the filling and operation of a massive dam project in Ethiopia by Jan. 15, 2020, the US Treasury said. In a joint statement released after US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin hosted... 

World Bank ready to spend $5bn in Congo, with conditions

By: Bloomberg     4th November 2019 The World Bank could provide as much as $5-billion to Democratic Republic of Congo over the next five years if its new government commits to raising more revenue, fighting corruption and opening up its economy. The financing would be a welcome boost for Congo’s new President, Felix Tshisekedi,... 

Congo says $14bn Inga dam on track despite disagreements

By: Bloomberg     1st November 2019 The Democratic Republic of Congo remains committed to building a $14-billion dam on the Congo River, even as the project is bogged down in disagreements between its developers, according to the government agency overseeing the project. Congo envisages an 11 050 MW facility that can export 5 000... 

Tourism, energy at risk as Africa's largest waterfall runs low

By: Bloomberg     1st November 2019 The flow at the Africa’s biggest waterfall is at its lowest since 1995, highlighting the threat posed by a drought to tourism and electricity generation in Zimbabwe and Zambia. Flow has slumped to 109 m3/s at Victoria Falls, a 1.7 km curtain of falling water at the peak of a normal wet season,... 

Tourism, energy at risk as Africa's largest waterfall runs low
Photo by Bloomberg
The Victoria Falls before the drought

Egypt says Washington to host Nov 6 meeting on Ethiopia dam dispute

By: Reuters     30th October 2019 The Trump administration has invited Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia to a meeting in Washington on Nov. 6 to try to break the deadlock in negotiations over a giant hydropower dam on Ethiopia's Blue Nile, Egypt's foreign minister said on Tuesday. Earlier this month, Cairo said it accepted a US... 

Congo’s $14bn dam project threatened by disagreements

By: Bloomberg     28th October 2019 Serious disagreements between groups of Spanish and Chinese developers that want to build a 11 000 MW hydropower plant in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) may scuttle plans for the $14-billion project, according to a report. The Inga III dam would be the biggest hydroelectric power station... 

Three power plants financed by AfDB boost Cameroon's power supply

By: African News Agency      25th October 2019 Three projects financed by the African Development Bank for $121.4-million in 2010/11 are starting to provide Cameroon with more reliable electricity supply, the institution has said. With an estimated 23 000 MW hydroelectric production capacity, Cameroon has the second-largest hydroelectric... 

Zimbabwe to cut power to mines, others over $77m in unpaid bills

By: Reuters     24th October 2019 Zimbabwe's State-owned electricity distributor, grappling with drought and ageing equipment, said on Thursday it will disconnect mines, farms and other users as it looks to recover $77-million in unpaid bills. The Southern African nation is experiencing daily power cuts lasting up to 18 hours... 

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