The Buzz: This Week in Africa

At the beginning of the week, Brent Crude is trading at $70.34 per barrel, WTI at $65.61 natural gas at $2.58 per million BTU (at 12:20, 26 March 2018, South Africa). Here are AOP’s top five stories from the last seven days.

60 MW of Clean Energy for Ghana

Armech Africa Limited of Arcmech Group, along with the Electricity Company of Ghana, will construct a waste-to-energy power plant in Tema at a cost of $300 million.

Pre-financed by Armech Group through the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, the project will provide the Tema region with renewable energy that will decrease exposure to harmful pollution. The power plant will have a capacity of 60 MW.

Constructed by Energy China, a global solutions provider for the power sector, the project will create a reported 1,500 direct and indirect jobs.

Eskom Pushes for 30% Price Increase

After having lost over R66 billion ($514 620 000,00 ) for over-expenditure and low sales between 2014 and 2017, Eskom has submitted three Regulatory Clearing Account (RCA) applications to the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa).

The RCA applications were submitted along with the company’s projected sales and costs. Should Nersa rule that the costs were within Eskom’s control, the state-owned power utility will have to pay for them. Otherwise the costs will be worked into tariffs resulting in consumers ultimately recovering the losses.

The deadline for Nersa’s ruling is the end of 2018; no specific date has been set.

China and U.S. Dispute Affects Oil Prices

Oil prices have fallen as a result of an ongoing trade dispute between the United States and China.

The oil price drop comes after a surge last week Wednesday where Brent Crude was at trading at $69.24, having started the week at $65.96, West Texas Intermediate at $65.15 after starting the week at $62.07 and natural gas at $2.66, which was at a higher $2.69 Monday afternoon.

The oil price drop came as a result of President Donald Trump signing a memorandum that could impose levies of up to $60 billion of imports from China.

Drilling Begins at Ibn Yunus-1X Exploration Well

The North Africa focused oil and gas company SDX Energy Inc. has announced that it will begin drilling in its Ibn Yunus-1X exploration well in South Disouq, Egypt.

As the first of four-well programs on the South Disouq concession, the drilling at the Ibn Yunus-1X well is expected to take approximately 30 days to complete before moving to the two appraisal wells (SD-4X abd 3X).

After the discovery of conventional natural gas-bearing Abu Madi intervals last year, the Ibn Yunus-1X well drilling will be targeting a similar find.

World’s Largest Solar Hybrid Power Plant Completed

Wärtsilä, a Finnish technology group, has completed the world’s largest solar hybrid power plant in Burkina Faso.

The company was selected by Total Eren SA and Africa Energy Management Platform to build the 15MWp solar PV plant. The completed project will provide the West African country with a renewable and sustainable around the clock energy supply.

Once operations begin, the plant will contribute significantly to the economy, dropping annual fuel consumption by an estimated 6 million liters and lowering CO2 emissions by 18,500 tonnes per year.