Zimbabwe’s leading cement supplier to switch to solar energy

Yesterday, PPC Zimbabwe broke ground on two solar PV plants in Bulawayo and Gwanda in southwestern Zimbabwe. The facilities will have a combined generation capacity of 30 MWac and were awarded to a consortium of the African Transmission Corporation (ATC) and Sinohydro Corporation following a competitive tender.

The consortium’s project company, CentraWest, is mandated to develop, finance, construct, maintain, operate, and own the project. Construction includes the associated transmission integration infrastructure to supply PPC’s cement manufacturing operations in Coleen Bawn and Bulawayo.

“To ensure reliable and quality supply of electricity to PPC Zimbabwe, a 9MW/18MWh battery energy storage system will be installed at the Gwanda site. This is one of the largest grid scale electricity storage systems to be built in Africa,” ATC Managing Director Victor Utedzi said.

Construction works will generate 500 local jobs and are expected to be completed at the end of this year.  

ATC is steadily establishing its leadership within Zimbabwe’s solar industry. In 2019, it already developed the 2 MW Centragrid solar PV plant at Nyabira, which it is now expanding to 25 MW. Details on the project are available within the Hawilti+ research terminal.

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Worley awarded FEED Phase II contract for Nigeria-Morocco Gas Pipeline

Worley has announced that it has been awarded a contract to provide main front-end engineering design (FEED Phase II) services for the 7,000km Nigeria-Morocco Gas Pipeline (NMGP) project. The feasibility study and FEED Phase I were previously completed by Penspen. The project is led by Morocco and Nigeria’s national oil companies, the Office National des Hydrocarbures et des Mines (ONHYM) and NNPC Ltd. If completed, it would be the longest offshore pipeline in the world. Its FEED study already received financing from the Islamic Development Bank in December 2021. The development bank had then declared that a final investment decision (FID) was targeted for 2023. The pipeline has been on the table for some time and is seen as an extension of the existing West Africa Gas Pipeline (WAGP) that was commissioned in 2011. However, WAGP has been plagued by several operational issues, including unreliable gas supplies from Nigeria and legacy debt payments from off-takers. The NMGP is expected to traverse 13 West African countries and offer African gas producers a new avenue to export their gas to neighboring countries and to Europe. Nigeria, Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal, and Mauritania all have discovered gas reserves located offshore. Gas deliveries could be made across the pipeline route to African markets seeking to secure additional gas supplies or exported all the way up to Europe via Morocco. “The overall FEED services will be managed by Intecsea BV, our offshore engineering consultancy business in The Hague, the Netherlands. This includes the development of the project implementation framework and supervision of the engineering survey,” Worley said in a statement. Nigeria holds Africa’s largest gas reserves and is increasingly seeking to monetise it domestically and for exports. On February 16th, Minister of Petroleum Timipre Sylva was in Niger to sign the Niamey Declaration with his counterparts from Algeria and Niger. The agreement seeks to put the Trans-Sahara Gas Pipeline (TSGP) Project back on track – another gas pipeline that would allow Nigeria to export its gas to Europe via Niger and Algeria. Earlier this month, Minister Timipre Sylva also expressed interest in reviving the Brass LNG export terminal project – a 10 mtpa LNG export scheme first discussed in 2003.

Tragedy hits Niger Delta as illegal bunkering site explosion kills 100

Over 100 people lost their lives last weekend at an illegal crude oil bunkering site at the Abaezi forest, in the Ohaji-Egbema Local Government Area of Nigeria’s Imo state. The illegal oil refining depot bordered Nigeria’s Rivers and Imo states and is one of many such sites operated across the Niger Delta by illegal refiners seeking to profit from the country’s oil reserves. The explosion happened as the government has intensified its crack down on pipeline vandalism and crude theft – which many use to secure the feedstock required for their illegal refining activities. These remain carried out outside any supervision, sometimes with makeshift equipment that often causes fatal accidents and heavy pollution. Several vehicles that were in a queue to buy illegal fuel were reportedly burnt by the fire outbreak that took the lives of over 100 people.