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African Energy - Issue 353 - 14/09/2017

Symbion revives Mandroseza plant as Madagascar woos investors

The government is looking to revitalise bedraggled utility Jiro sy Rany Malagasy (Jirama) and attract investment to help reach its goal of generating 85% of power from renewables by 2030. But some of the signals given out by President Hery Rajaonarimampianina ahead of the 2018 elections have political analysts concerned.

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African Energy - Issue 352 - 10/08/2017

As dos Santos retires, Angola sticks with mega-projects to promise brighter future

Critics abroad and poorer Angolans may question where billions of dollars of oil revenues have gone in past decades, but the ruling Movimento Popular de Libertação de Angola (MPLA) prefers to trumpet its successes in the run-up to parliamentary elections on 23 August that will surely consecrate defence minister João Manuel Gonçalves Lourenço as successor to President José Eduardo dos Santos. The government, forced to cut spending and borrow heavily as oil prices slumped to levels far below its budget calculations, is telling voters a better future beckons, with the announcement of progress on a string of new large hydroelectric power schemes (HEPs) and other infrastructure.

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African Energy - Issue 351 - 27/07/2017

Nigeria updates gas policy, but ability to deliver is key

With cabinet approval for a comprehensive new National Gas Policy (NGP) and ministers proposing other initiatives to drive the economy out of recession and improve living standards for the majority of Nigeria’s 186m population, President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration promises to implement genuine reforms that could eventually confirm Nigeria’s claim to become a major emerging market. Properly implemented, the NGP and associated policies could open the way for a functioning electricity supply industry to emerge. This would be driven by gas-fired generation plants and privately owned distributors who would benefit from a more transparent, efficient gas industry. As ever, everything depends on whether policy commitments can be implemented.

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African Energy - Issue 350 - 13/07/2017

Tanzania legislates for resources firms to pay more or face the consequences

Aperennial issue in Tanzanian politics and business – the extent to which the East African state is exploited by international capital and should reap bigger yields from its natural resources – returned with a vengeance when, on 4 July, the National Assembly unanimously passed three laws covering natural resources investment. Tabled on 29 June, the ‘urgent status’ legislation will support President John Pombe Magufuli’s efforts to force energy and mining companies to give Tanzania a better deal – a cornerstone of his government’s populist appeal.

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African Energy - Issue 349 - 29/06/2017

Mozambique claims long-term regional leadership despite financial stress

President Filipe Nyusi was bound to make the most of the announcement that Eni and partners had reached a final investment decision (FID) to develop the $8bn Coral South floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) project in offshore Area 4; all drilling, construction and installation contracts for the 3.4m t/yr FLNG scheme in the Rovuma Basin were signed to great fanfare in early June.

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African Energy - Issue 348 - 15/06/2017

Zambia overhauls electricity regime as sector heats up

Acombination of drought, national utility Zesco’s balance sheet, and an alarming bill for electricity sector subsidies has persuaded the Zambian government to push ahead with a radical overhaul of its power sector. Pressure from drought is easing gradually. Energy minister David Mabumba told the National Assembly on 28 March that generation from hydropower had improved, in particular at Kafue Gorge, where available capacity had increased from 630MW to 900MW , of an installed 990MW . He put total available capacity in the country at 1,901MW , plus around 75MW imported from Karpower in Mozambique.

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African Energy - Issue 347 - 01/06/2017

South Africa’s IPP Office to move in institutional reshuffle

Asignificant reshuffle of energy sector institutions is under way in South Africa, centring on the Central Energy Fund (CEF). Among other moves, the Independent Power Producer (IPP) Office will be transferred from the Department of Energy to the CEF , while the Petroleum Agency of South Africa (Pasa) and African Exploration and Mining Corporation will move from the CEF to the Department of Mineral Resources. New energy minister Mmamoloko Kubayi made the announcement during her first budget speech on 19 May.

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African Energy - Issue 346 - 18/05/2017

NOC alleges Wintershall interference in Libyan politics

National Oil Corporation (NOC) chairman Mustafa Sanalla has intensified his conflict with Presidency Council head Fayez Al-Sarraj, alleging that German oil company Wintershall has formed an alliance with the UNbacked Government of National Accord (GNA) and succeeded in influencing the drafting of legislation for its commercial benefit.

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African Energy - Issue 345 - 04/05/2017

South Africa’s High Court rules key nuclear decisions unconstitutional

The South African government suffered a major setback in its efforts to procure nuclear power when the High Court in Cape Town ruled on 26 April that three intergovernmental agreements, two ministerial determinations and all subsequent procurement activity was unlawful and unconstitutional. The decision means that two ministerial determinations – announcements by the energy minister that a certain amount of capacity will be procured from a particular technology – from 2013 and 2016 underpinning the government’s ambitious, and controversial, efforts to procure 9,600MW of nuclear power have been set aside. As a consequence, the request for information which was scheduled to close at the end of April was also ruled unlawful (AE 338/8, 305/6). The role assumed by the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa) was again challenged, striking, for the second time since early 2016, at the uncomfortable balancing act the regulator has attempted since it was established in 2004 between political considerations and quasi-independence.

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African Energy - Issue 344 - 20/04/2017

On the night of 30-31 March, President Jacob Zuma announced the momentous decision that he was firing respected finance minister Pravin Gordhan, along with nine others from the 35-member cabinet, among them energy minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson. Gordhan was replaced by Malusi Gigaba, an experienced politician considered to be a Zuma supporter.

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African Energy Gulf States Newsletter