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African Energy - Issue 392 - 16/05/2019

Zambia’s Zesco seeks to renegotiate power tariffs with IPPs

St ate power utility Zesco is seeking to renegotiate its power purchase agreements with independent power producers (IPPs) in an effort to curb its ballooning debt. At end-April 2019, Zesco owed IPPs about $680m, and the company says low power tariffs mean it has little hope of reducing the burden.

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African Energy - Issue 391 - 02/05/2019

Ould Kaddour sacked as Algerian regime seeks to show commitment to change

Abdelmoumen Ould Kaddour was dismissed as head of state energy giant Sonatrach on 23 April, to be replaced by head of production Rachid Hachichi. Respected as an industry professional but widely distrusted for his links to the now discredited Bouteflika clan, and especially his ties to the politically ambitious former energy minister Chakib Khelil, Ould Kaddour’s position was in doubt even before Abdelaziz Bouteflika departed the presidency (AE 390/18, 388/3). His removal was announced by the interim president, Abdelkader Bensalah, as the remaining leadership – in which deputy defence minister and army chief of staff Lieutenant General Ahmed Gaïd Salah continues to play a leading role (AE 388/1) – sought to show protesters that the regime is capable of change.

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African Energy - Issue 390 - 18/04/2019

Equatorial Guinea takes hard line on Zafiro extension

While minister of mines and hydrocarbons Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima is clearly in a hurry to bring more oil and gas resources into production and to raise the profile of his country within the global hydrocarbons industry, he is also holding out for the best deals he can get. Market speculation is focused on a prospective deal for London-based independent Trident Energy – which is led by former Perenco executives and describes itself as an expert in reviving mid-life oil and gas assets – to take over ExxonMobil’s Zafiro oil and gas field, which started production in 1996. Production levels are declining and Exxon’s contract expires in 2023.

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African Energy - Issue 389 - 28/03/2019

South Africa endures more load-shedding as Eskom tariff increase approved

With elections coming up on 8 May, the power crisis in South Africa has peaked at an inconvenient time for President Cyril Ramaphosa. While opposition parties, particularly the Democratic Alliance, are seeking to make political capital out of the catastrophic deterioration in technical and financial performance at Eskom, there are also concerns that no substantial policy measures are likely until after the elections.

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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 Gulf States Newsletter