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Hydropower News

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... 

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... 

The site of the 2.3-billion-cubic-metre Polihali dam
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... 

Embracing the advice given by professional environmental consultants early on can lead to the avoidance of many environmental issues
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,... 

The Victoria Falls before the drought
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... 

Ethiopia probes alleged dam misspending that slowed construction

By: Bloomberg     23rd October 2019 Ethiopian authorities are probing missing funds a military contractor already accused of graft was meant to spend on a showpiece dam on a Nile tributary that’s raised tensions with Egypt. Military-linked Metals & Engineering Corp, which was replaced as a contractor on the Grand Ethiopian... 

Egypt accepts invitation to meet in US over Ethiopia dam dispute

By: Reuters     23rd October 2019 Egypt said on Tuesday it had accepted a US invitation to a meeting of foreign ministers over a project for a giant hydropower dam on Ethiopia's Blue Nile that is causing an escalating spat between the two African countries. The meeting of foreign ministers of Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan, the three... 

Egypt, Ethiopia leaders to meet in coming days over GERD dam

By: Bloomberg     22nd October 2019 Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed will meet President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi of Egypt to discuss a 5 150 MW dam that has strained relations between the two nations over access to water. Egypt is concerned that the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam being built 3 200 km upstream will restrict the... 

Egypt, Ethiopia leaders to meet in coming days over GERD dam

South Africa to test market for emergency power ‘gap fillers’ as IRP is finalised   

By: Terence Creamer     18th October 2019 South Africa will release a request for information (RFI) in the coming weeks to test the market for solutions to close an immediate electricity supply gap of between 2 000 MW and 3 000 MW, which has emerged primarily as a result of a fall in the energy availability factor (EAF) from Eskom’s coal... 

South Africa to test market for emergency power ‘gap fillers’ as IRP is finalised
Mineral Resources and Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe on the Integrated Resource Plan 2019 allocations and the need for short-term supply solutions. Camera Work: Kutlwano Matlala. Editing: Nicholas Boyd. Recorded: 18.10.2019

Egypt denounces Ethiopia for moving ahead with Nile dam amid water-shortage fears

By: Reuters     10th October 2019 Egypt denounced Ethiopia on Wednesday for moving forward with building and operating a hyropower dam on the Nile, which Cairo worries will threaten already scarce water supplies. Ethiopia, the source of the Blue Nile which joins the White Nile in Khartoum and runs on to Egypt, says the dam will... 

Egypt denounces Ethiopia for moving ahead with Nile dam amid water-shortage fears

Plans to speed up electrification in Africa

By: Kim Cloete     10th October 2019 Africa needs to connect around 73-million people to electricity every year to reach the goal of affordable and sustainable energy for every single African by 2030, says the African Union (AU) Commission. Atef Marzouk, head of the Energy Division of the AU Commission’s Department of Infrastructure... 

Egypt urges international mediation over Nile river deadlock

By: African News Agency      7th October 2019 Seven years of talks between Egypt and Ethiopia in Sudan over a massive dam construction on the Nile river have reached a deadlock with Cairo appealing to the international community to intervene. Ethiopia began constructing the Grand Renaissance dam on the Blue Nile in 2012 saying the... 

Ethiopia dam official blames construction delays on conglomerate METEC

By: Reuters     1st October 2019 Construction of a $4-billion dam at the heart of Ethiopia's bid to become Africa's biggest power exporter has been delayed five years as engineers had to replace shoddy work by a conglomerate pulled off the job last year, a project official said. The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, announced in... 

Ethiopia dam official blames construction delays on conglomerate METEC

Ethiopia rejects Egypt's plan for operating giant dam on the Nile

By: Reuters     19th September 2019 Ethiopia on Wednesday rejected a proposal by Egypt to operate a $4-billion hydropower dam the Horn of Africa country is constructing on the Nile, further deepening a dispute between the two nations over the project. In a press conference in Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa, Sileshi Bekele, minister... 

Uganda says its power generation capacity will jump 55% by year-end

By: Reuters     18th September 2019 Uganda's electricity generation capacity is set to jump by 55.5% in December when a Chinese-financed hydropower plant and other, smaller projects are commissioned, the east African country's energy minister said. In recent years, Uganda has been wooing private-sector energy investors and taking... 

Zambia may import 300 MW of power from South Africa, prices could double – minister

By: Reuters     17th September 2019 Zambia is in talks with South African power utility Eskom to import 300 MW of electricity, Energy Minister Mathew Nkhuwa said on Tuesday, adding that retail prices could double once imports begin. Zambia has a power deficit of more than 750 MW because of low water levels at hydropower dams,... 

Egypt and Ethiopia at odds as talks over Blue Nile dam resume

By: Reuters     17th September 2019 Egypt says Ethiopia has "summarily rejected" its plan for key aspects of operating a giant dam the East African nation is building on the Nile, while dismissing Ethiopia's own proposal as "unfair and inequitable". The comments in a note circulated to diplomats last week show the gap between the... 

The Nile river in Egypt
Photo by Reuters
The Nile river in Egypt

Ghana power producers say plan to save costs carries hefty bill

By: Bloomberg     16th September 2019 Ghana’s plans to stop paying for power that it doesn’t consume may cost the country as much as $2-billion in upfront claims. Private operators will not accept Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta’s proposal to renegotiate agreements and will demand the full payment of their contracts’ termination... 

Uganda seeks $3.5bn in private money for power transmission

By: Bloomberg     10th September 2019 Uganda is seeking $3.5-billion in private investment to expand its power-transmission network in attempt to curb spending without slowing its economic growth. Liberalizing transmission will provide additional resources needed to transmit power from new generation projects including the 600 MW... 

Uganda rejects planned power plant at Murchison Falls

By: Reuters     28th August 2019 Uganda said on Wednesday that due to the importance of its famed Murchison Falls as a lucrative tourism attraction it had rejected a hydropower project proposed by South Africa's Bonang Power and Energy. The falls lend their name to a 3 900 km2 national park, one of Uganda's biggest, where... 

Zambia mulls a Congo canal. Experts say don’t even try it

By: Bloomberg     23rd August 2019 Drought-riven Zambia plans to build canals from the Congo river in its northern neighbor to supply water and electricity. It will never work, say experts. Water levels have plunged for the second time in three years in the Kariba dam, which feeds off the Zambezi river and provides both Zambia and... 

Power-starved Zimbabwe, Zambia face further drought-induced dark

By: Bloomberg     6th August 2019 The Kariba dam that straddles Zambia and Zimbabwe, the world’s biggest man-made reservoir, is emptying fast, sparking fears the countries may have to cut hydropower production there completely. For the two southern African nations already suffering daily blackouts and growing economic pressures... 

Three Gorges has nothing on China-backed dam to power Africa 

By: Bloomberg     6th August 2019 A dream of building the world’s biggest hydroelectric project in the heart of Africa may be inching closer to reality. For decades, plans have been made and discarded to construct a series of hydroelectric power stations on the world’s second-longest river that would generate almost twice the... 

Three Gorges has nothing on China-backed dam to power Africa

Respected head of IPP Office, Breytenbach, asked to leave post

By: Terence Creamer     22nd July 2019 The respected head of South Africa’s Independent Power Producer (IPP) Office, Karen Breytenbach, has confirmed to Engineering News Online that she has been asked to vacate her position by the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA). News of her departure was... 

Karen Breytenbach
Photo by Creamer Media's Dylan Slater
Karen Breytenbach
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