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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 - Issue 378 - 11/10/2018

BP sells half-share of Libyan assets to Eni, raising prospect of exploration revival

On 8 October in London, BP group chief executive Bob Dudley, Eni chief executive Claudio Descalzi and National Oil Corporation (NOC) chairman Mustafa Sanalla signed a letter of intent paving the way for Eni’s purchase of a 42.5% interest in BP’s exploration and production-sharing agreement (EPSA).

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African Energy - Issue 377 - 27/09/2018

Eskom faces coal supply crunch as Gupta empire winds down

One unexpected impact of moves in South Africa to dismantle the business empire of the powerful Gupta brothers has been a sharp decline in coal stocks previously supplied by Tegeta Exploration and Resources. Supplies to power stations have reached critical levels in some cases, raising fears of renewed load-shedding.

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African Energy - Issue 376 - 13/09/2018

Equatorial Guinea lining up strategic partner for Gas Megahub

Equatorial Guinea’s Ministry of Mines and Hydrocarbons plans to announce the appointment of a strategic partner for its Gas Megahub project by October. Mines and hydrocarbons minister Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima told African Energy that the strategic partner would start work on the project by year-end or early in 2019. He said the ministry had been working with Marathon Oil Corporation and Noble Energy on arrangements to backfill gas for the EGLNG liquefied natural gas plant as the first phase of the project to replace declining production from the Alba field (AE 369/1).

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African Energy - Issue 375 - 30/08/2018

Ethiopia’s Grand Renaissance Dam: from national treasure to political football

In his first news conference on 25 August, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed confirmed significant problems with the 6.45GW Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (Gerd) on the Blue Nile River. But rather than address the lengthy ongoing spat with Cairo over the $4bn project, or chief engineer Semegnew Bekele’s death in central Addis Ababa in a mysterious 26 July shooting, Abiy’s comments shed more light on a distinctly domestic dispute.

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African Energy - Issue 374 - 26/07/2018

Zambia cost-of-service study faces obstruction and delay

Zesco and senior officials are determined to press ahead with tariff increases despite the stalling of a cost-of-service study that was intended to form the basis of a new multiyear tariff determination. Negotiations have been under way since last year with large consumers, mostly mines, which are still in the process of agreeing an interim tariff.

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African Energy - Issue 373 - 12/07/2018

Shadow of debt has not yet deterred Zambia’s investors

An announcement by finance minister Margaret Mwanakatwe on 6 July that the government had completed a three-week investigation into its debt sustainability and “we know what debt we have and also we have shared the facts and figures with the [International Monetary Fund] IMF” illustrates how perilous its debt situation has become. A combination of inept governance and ugly politics means that President Edgar Lungu’s administration has lost credibility to the point that investors are sceptical of both its figures – the government claims to have $9.3bn of external debt – and its ability to get control of its finances.

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African Energy - Issue 372 - 28/06/2018

Turmoil in Libya’s oil crescent threatens new blockade

The deal between the Tripoli-based National Oil Corporation (NOC) and Cyrenaica-based Libyan National Army (LNA) that has ensured steady oil production of around 1m b/d for the past two years has broken down, threatening a new extended blockade of oil exports, the further destabilisation of the critically weak economy and possibly the opening of a new phase in Libya’s lengthy civil war.

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African Energy - Issue 371 - 14/06/2018

Islamist attacks in northern Mozambique highlight challenges facing LNG scheme

Scores of people have been killed since late May in attacks on villages in the northern Cabo Delgado province blamed on Islamist militants. In one attack near the coastal town of Palma, the attackers abducted residents from Monjane and Ulumbi villages who were found beheaded on 27 May in nearby bush. Security forces have deployed in the area, where consortia led by Anadarko and Eni are planning big liquefied natural gas (LNG) developments.

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African Energy Gulf States Newsletter