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African Energy - Issue 388 - 18/03/2019

Algeria enters uncertain new phase as disaffected population finds its voice

The announcement that Abdelaziz Bouteflika would not seek a fifth term in the planned 18 April presidential election answered only some critical questions about Algeria’s immediate future. It showed that the ruling factions were not prepared to turn the state’s mighty armoury on peaceful demonstrators to keep the 82-year-old invalid in power. And it showed that Algeria’s predominantly youthful population was ready to take back control of its destiny after three decades of marginalisation as the state first fought radical Islam in the 1990s and then consolidated a malfunctioning system of centralised crony capitalist economics that has mainly benefited the regime during Bouteflika’s 20 years in office (AE 385/14).

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African Energy - Issue 387 - 28/02/2019

Little prospect of change in Nigeria as Buhari wins second term

Nigeria’s Independent National Electoral Commission on 27 February declared incumbent President Muhammadu Buhari the winner of the delayed 23 February election. Buhari landed 55.6% of the popular vote, a clear margin over the 41.2% who voted for his main rival Atiku Abubakar, according to provisional results. Buhari’s ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) also extended its majority in the National Assembly.

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African Energy - Issue 386 - 14/02/2019

Eskom unbundling announced as South Africa returns to load-shedding

President Cyril Ramaphosa said in his State of the Nation address on 7 February that “Eskom is in crisis and the risks it poses to South Africa are great”, a point emphasised when stage 4 load-shedding – meaning that more than 4GW was cut from the grid – was implemented a few days later.

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African Energy - Issue 385 - 31/01/2019

Projects progress but politics cloud the future in Côte d’Ivoire

New petroleum, energy and renewable energy minister Abdourahmane Cissé’s approval of plans for Paris-based investment company Eranove Group to build a 390MW gas-fired power plantat Jacqueville, near Abidjan, and for Globeleq’s 430MW Azito plant to add another 253MW in a CFA225.8bn ($385m) revamp suggests an acceleration of efforts to have 4GW of installed capacity in place by the time Côte d’Ivoire goes to the polls in 2020.

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African Energy - Issue 384 - 17/01/2019

Libya’s NOC turns back the clock on crude marketing and refining

Adecision by National Oil Corporation (NOC) not to renew the three-year-old deal giving Glencore the exclusive right to lift crude from the Marsa Al-Harigah terminal outside Tobruk demonstrates how much the conditions under which Libya exports crude have changed in the past year. The hoped-for resumption of operations at the Ras Lanuf oil refinery in April – if it can be achieved – will change the picture further.

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African Energy - Issue 383 - 20/12/2018

Angola to raise power tariffs following IMF accord

Angola has published an action plan for the energy and water sectors covering the period 2018-2022. The plan aims to raise total installed capacity to 7.5GW in 2022 from 6.4GW in 2018 by expanding the role of gas and renewables, mainly solar. Tariff increases are planned in the new year in an attempt to eliminate subsidies for the power sector. Speaking at an investor roundtable in London on 14 December, energy minister João Baptista Borges said domestic tariffs would rise to around 10 kwanza ($0.03)/kWh from 3 kwanza/kWh at present. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on 7 December approved an Extended Arrangement under the Extended Fund Facility aimed at supporting economic reforms under way since President João Lourenço took over from veteran leader José Eduardo dos Santos in September 2017.

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African Energy - Issue 382 - 06/12/2018

Revitalised Tullow squares up to Kenya development challenges

Tullow Oil says it has emerged from the industry downturn as a “balanced, self-funded E&P company” and plans to pay a dividend next year for the first time since 2014. The company is focused on reaching a final investment decision (FID) for the South Lokichar project in late 2019 with a target of first oil in 2022, but key elements remain to be finalised, including the ownership of the export pipeline element and a contract for the water needed for the production process.

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African Energy - Issue 381 - 22/11/2018

Long road ahead as Zimbabwe government puts its house in order

Zimbabwe’s government is piecing together a policy programme to stimulate investment into its moribund power sector. Recovering energy output is a central pillar of government efforts to revitalise the economy. But President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration faces an uphill battle and a critical few weeks, highlighted by a recent visit from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) ahead of delivery of the budget on 22 November.

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African Energy - Issue 380 - 08/11/2018

Ethiopia turns to PPPs for ambitious power expansion

Ethiopia’s plans to attract more foreign capital into its power industry took a step forward in late October as the government announced 14 projects that it wants to build and run as public-private partnerships (PPPs). The plan to attract private finance for the planned hydropower and solar schemes is a departure for a government that has borrowed heavily over the last decade from Chinese banks and elsewhere to construct large-scale dams such as Gibe III and the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (Gerd), as well as for major transmission projects.

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African Energy - Issue 379 - 25/10/2018

Ghana seeks to boost pace of exploration with first bid round

Ghana launched its first upstream oil licensing round on 15 October, offering six offshore blocks with the aim of bringing fresh exploration and development impetus to West Africa’s newest oil exporter. At a time of rising crude prices and ongoing uncertainty over the direction of new petroleum policy in regional oil superpower Nigeria, the round’s timing could not have been better, but rather than the usual upbeat bid round launch message stressing Ghana’s upstream potential and generous fiscal terms, President Nana Akufo-Addo used the launch event to warn existing licenceholders that they needed to step up the pace of exploration.

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African Energy Gulf States Newsletter