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Botswana calls for private sector bids to improve power, renewable energy

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South African country, Botswana is making bold steps in the bid to increase the proportion of renewable energy.

The country is inviting bids from independent power producers (IPPs) to build a 200 megawatt (MW) power plant as the country looks to boost power generation.

Botswana’s Ministry of Minerals and Energy said the bid would cover financing, construction, operation, and maintenance as well as decommissioning of the plant at the end of its economic life.

“The project, comprising two units of 100 MW each, will be required to be commercially online by 2026/2027 and will sell all the energy produced and capacity to the Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) through a Power Purchase Agreement,” read the pre-qualification document.

Botswana has abundant solar energy resources, receiving over 3,200 hours of sunshine per year with average insulation on a horizontal surface of 21MJ/m2, one of the highest rates of insulation in the world. It is essential to take advantage of the abundance of this resource.

Under a 20-year resource plan approved in 2020, Botswana plans to add more than 600 MW of solar and coal-fired power by 2026, as the country looks to wean itself off imports while also eyeing power exports.

Africa is rich in renewable energy sources, including hydro, sun, wind, and others, and the time is right for sound planning to ensure the right energy mix. Decisions made today will shape the continent’s energy sector for decades. The Agency has engaged closely with African countries since its formation in 2011.

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World Bank predicts Mozambique economy growing at 5.7% on average

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The World Bank has predicted that the economic growth in Mozambique is expected to accelerate in the medium term averaging 5.7% between 2022 and 2024, as a result of demand recovery and economy benefits from the start of liquefied natural gas production this year.

In a report released Thursday, the World Bank said the start of LNG production at the offshore Coral Project and the expected resumption of other LNG projects would help spur the southeast African nation’s growth in the intervening year.

The World Bank said a three-year extended credit facility arrangement agreed by Mozambique with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and budget support from other partners would further help to strengthen its economic recovery.

The IMF’s executive board had, in May, approved a $456 million program for the country, the first since the global lender suspended support to Mozambique six years ago.

However, the World Bank warned that risks remained for Mozambique’s growth, especially from rising import prices due to the conflict in Ukraine, a possible surge in COVID infection waves, and insurgency in the north.

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Nigeria, Algeria, Niger to revive Saharan gas pipeline talks

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The governments of Nigeria, Algeria and Niger Republic have held talks to revive a gas pipeline project across the Sahara which had been put on hold for over 40 years, with the potential opportunity for Europe to diversify its gas sources as the world faces a short fall as a result of the Russian-Ukraine war.

The three countries, represented by their various Petroleum Ministers, met in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital on Wednesday and resolved to set up a task force to revive the project and designated an entity to update the feasibility study.

A statement by Niger’s Oil Ministry after the two-day meeting stated that the Trans-Saharan gas pipeline project estimated at $13 billion, could send up to 30 billion cubic metres a year of supplies to Europe.

The statement added that the energy ministers of the three countries will meet again in Algiers at the end of July to “validate the proposals of the newly installed task force.”

“The pipeline should allow Europe to diversify its sources of natural gas supply but also allow several African states to access this high value energy source,” the statement said.

“With a length of 4,128 kilometres (2,565 miles), the pipeline would start in Warri, Nigeria, and end in Hassi R’Mel, Algeria, where it would connect to existing pipelines that run to Europe,” it said.

The gas pipeline idea was first proposed more than 40 years ago with an agreement signed between the three countries in 2009, but progress stalled stalled following a lack of follow through by the countries.

Earlier this month, Nigeria also took steps to revive another gas pipeline project that would pass through West Africa, Morocco to Europe.

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