ECONOMY NEWS NAMIBIA                                                                              26 June 2015


Namibia’s Ohlthaver & List (O&L) Group and Howard Chamberlain Architects, along Standard Bank of Namibia, have clinched a property investment deal worth US$17.5 Million.

The ’77 On Independence’ project will be carried out by the three companies and will be a mixed-use development based at Windhoek, along Independence Avenue. The new building is expected to end by the end of 2016.

The ’77 On Independence’ building project will entail eleven floor apartment; there will be a retail mall, underground parking decks, gym and descent swimming pools.

Ohlthaver & List Chairperson Sven Thieme has said the building project had been on plan since the year 2011, and the achievement is a milestone and it will be completed on the time frame set.

Namibia’s Standard Bank will be the lender of the whole amount that will be used in the project, according to its CEO Vetumbuavi Mungunda, and the company said it was glad to be part of the mega building project that will also be expected to grow the economy of Namibia.

“As an important financing institution in our country, Standard Bank places a particular focus on being involved in large infrastructure projects that grow the economy and move forward our people and their livelihoods,” said Mungunda.

Currently, the property including the apartment have been fully sold. In addition to this building project, Ohlthaver & List (O&L) Group has also announced that “Phase 4″ development of the Wernhil Park shopping centre will start in January 2016.

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Nigeria’s very own Atlantis

LAGOS/NIGERIA, April 29, 2014 – About 50 Volvo machines are being used in Nigeria to work on the Eko Atlantic Project – the biggest land reclamation project in the world.
Lagos is the largest city in Africa and lies on the Gulf of Guinea coast. It’s the second fastest-growing city in Africa and the seventh in the world. The city is a metropolitan area that originated on islands separated by creeks and is protected from the Atlantic Ocean by long sand dunes such as Bar Beach, which stretches 62 miles (100km) both east and west.  

In the cobalt blue waters of the Atlantic Ocean, just off the coast of Lagos, a new city is being constructed from the seabed, in what has become the biggest land reclamation project in the world.

The Eko Atlantic Project was launched in 2003 when the Nigerian government embarked on a solution to tackle the coastal erosion that was threatening the residents of Victoria Island – a suburb of Lagos. The answer was a sizeable barrier built to protect the coastline – a relatively simple project that turned into something much, much more ambitious. Developers decided to undo the damage the rising tides had caused and embarked on an extensive plan to reclaim 4 miles2   (10 km2) of land from the ocean. When complete, Eko Atlantic (also known as Eko Atlantic City) will attract 400,000 residents and 250,000 daily commuters into an area roughly the size of Manhattan. The new city will become the financial center of Nigeria, which is appropriate as investment for the multibillion-dollar project is being provided solely by private investors.

Beside the Seaside

Four years into the project, 140 million tonnes of sand has been dredged from the sea to provide the foundations for the new city, while 700,000 tonnes of rock has been transported to help build the five-mile (eight-kilometer) long wall to form a barrier to the sea. Despite the progress already made it will be several more years until enough sand has been reclaimed for the entire site and another generation before the project is fully complete. That said, the first buildings on the land that has already been reclaimed will start opening from next year.

Working conditions in Lagos have proved difficult at times. The temperature can reach above 40oC and in the wet season, torrential rain can reduce all visibility. Salt sprays off the sea when the waves lash against the rocks and dust and sand in hot temperatures can also cause difficulties for operators.

Sturdy Seaside Machinery

To ensure that the harsh conditions don’t affect progress, Eko Atlantic is using a fleet of 50 machines from Volvo Construction Equipment (Volvo CE), making it by far the biggest supplier of machines at the project. There are different models of Volvo excavator digging trenches for drainage and sewage, haulers moving rocks and sand and motor graders maintaining the haul roads.

“The work can be tough,” says Monday Johnson, operator of a Volvo EC460BLC excavator. “But the Volvo machines can cope. Inside the cab it’s cool and though the ground can be uneven, the machine is very well-balanced. I’ve never had a problem as this machine has worked day in and day out for the past two years and hasn’t failed.”

Johnson has worked for Eko Atlantic for two years and clocked more than 5,000 hours, helping to construct the granite protective barrier that locals have named ‘The Great Wall of Lagos’.
“The EC460BLC excavator works in a challenging area,” says George Tawk, the group plant manager at Eko Atlantic. “You have to deal with rocks, sand, salty water and salt filled air. All these things can damage the machine but with good support and a thorough maintenance schedule, the machine has managed the conditions well. In Africa you need a customized, tropicalized engine that can handle the heat and the weather – and lucky for us Volvo offers these engines.”
The machines have been supplied by Volvo’s dealer in Nigeria, ATC-Nigeria, who is providing onsite support. “Believe me, you can use the best machine in the world in Africa, but if you don’t have support then it doesn’t matter,” adds Tawk.
The reclamation project is providing work and housing for the locals and will benefit generations to come.

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Paradise on Earth Gabon


African republic, on the equator, bordered to the W by the Atlantic Ocean, and clockwise by Equatorial Guinea and Cameroon to the N and the Congo Republic to the E and S. The coastline of Gabon was first explored by Portugal in the 15th century, but the equatorial jungle made the interior an unreachable and unattractive prospect for colonization. In the middle of the 19th century France began to expand its colonial dominion in the region and founded Libreville, the capital, in 1849. In 1890 Gabon was officially incorporated into the French Congo. Twenty years later it became a distinct colony of French Equatorial Africa.

The French exploited the tropical hardwoods of Gabon, but the country became more famous for the medical mission at Lambarene founded by the Swiss doctor Albert Schweitzer in 1913. In 1958 Gabon became a republic and a member of the French Community and in 1960 achieved full independence. Gabon was spared the poverty and disruption that have plagued many of the newly emerging African nations; the discovery of immense deposits of manganese, iron ore, uranium, and oil has enriched it. Gabon’s explorations for these and the continued profitable export of tropical hardwoods has made the country economically robust. It has the highest per capita income in Africa due to its rich oil reserves and low population. Omar Bongo has held power since 1968, although opposition parties have been legal in the country since 1990.

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Mozambican natural gas-fired power station nearing completion.

The first of 13 power generation sets arrived at Gigawatt Park in Ressano Garcia, on the border between South Africa and Mozambique, as part of the construction of a 100MW natural gas fired power station.

Each generating set consists of a 20 cylinder natural gas fuelled Rolls Royce engine manufactured at the Bergen factory in Norway and an ABB generator. Each set weighs 140 tons and can produce 9,300kW.

Shipment of the 13 sets from Norway to Richards Bay in South Africa was completed in March and is now being transported by road to Mozambique.

Civil construction of the $200m project started in August 2014 with the foundations for the engines being completed in March 2015. The engineering, procurement and construction contract is executed by a consortium of WBHO and PB Power with TSK as the main sub-contractor.

The construction of the power station is on schedule and within budget and it should be in full production before the end of 2015.

Potential of natural gas

Johan de Vos, CEO of Gigajoule International, says the power station is a great example of the huge potential of natural gas as feedstock for power generation in Southern Africa. “Natural gas has proven to be the least damaging to the environment of all fossil fuel based energy sources and it is by far more cost-effective and energy efficient than any of its counterparts, coal, oil and diesel.

“The short lead time and ease of construction of gas fired power stations make them ideal to help solve the energy crisis that South Africa faces – in the short, medium and long-term.”
De Vos says the massive natural gas reserves now discovered in northern Mozambique has the potential to meet all the energy needs of South Africa in the long-term.
Gigawatt Mozambique will supply the power to EDM (the Mozambican power utility) and natural gas will be delivered by Matola Gas Company, who is currently providing gas to more than 30 industries and three temporary gas-fired power stations in Mozambique.

The plant can supply electricity to the equivalent of 250,000 households and will make a substantial contribution to the Mozambican power supply capacity.

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Construction begins on 160 MW CSP plant in Morocco

Construction on Morocco’s 160 MW concentrated solar power (CSP) plant project in Ouarzazate began on Friday with a symbolic groundbreaking ceremony by King Mohammed VI.

Built by a consortium led by Saudi Arabia’s ACWA Power, Ouarzazate 1 is set to go online in 2015. The German government has pledged €115 million in support for Morocco’s ambitious project.

A stalwart supporter of Morocco’s renewable energy and energy efficiency efforts for years, Germany has become Europe’s most significant partner in the building of the 160 MW Ouarzazate 1 facility.

Germany’s Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety and the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development are both supporting Morocco in realizing the project, which aims to significantly reduce carbon dioxide emissions in the country, currently estimated at 230,000 tons a year.

The construction of the Ouarzazate plant is the first step in the country’s implementation of a solar power plan that will see 2,000 MW of power generation capacity by 2020.

Along with the expansion of wind energy generation, the country could already see half of its electricity supply from renewable energy sources by 2020.

The German environment ministry is providing €15 million through KfW Development Bank towards the project as part of the International Climate Initiative while the Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development is granting low-interest loans totaling €100 million.

As reported earlier, the first phase of the project has received a total of €345 million in backing from Europe, including €100 million from the European Investment Bank, €30 million from the European Union and €100 million from the French Development Agency (AFD).

Morocco is building the plant in several stages. The German government will continue to support the expansion of solar power in Morocco with a further €650 million in the coming years.

“The solar power plant will help reduce Morocco’s dependence on imported fossil fuels. Solar energy is a future market that is of great importance for countries like Morocco,” the German government said in a statement, adding, “Germany is making a significant contribution so that these markets can develop, which not only generates employment but also investment opportunities for the private economy.”

Germany’s support for energy initiatives in Morocco spans the development of regional master plans, the establishment of new institutions, laws and regulations for renewable energy and energy efficiency and includes loans for solar, wind and hydro power plants.


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KENYA ECONOMY NEWS                                                                           16 June 2015

Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH), which is Kenya’s largest referral hospital, has decided to look up to the private sector for a funds to enable them construct a US$ 182m public paediatric hospital. The hospital construction project will see KNH increase admission from the current’s capacity of 300 children at a time. The hospital has been experiencing congestion as it only has a 200-bed ward for children.

According to KNH, the planned paedriatric hospital will be developed as from the beginning of the next financial year through a public-private partnership (PPP) model. It will be the first public paediatric hospital for KNH.

The hospital construction project will constitute a Ksh. 5bn 600-bed children hospital, 300 bed private unit and accommodation houses for all the staff. The costs will total up to US$ 139m and the remaining US$ 43m will be used in the ICT department.

“We have an increasing number of patients seeking specialized care at our facility, so we need to expand and develop our infrastructure to serve them better,” KNH chief executive officer Lily Tare said.

The ICT master plan from the private sector will enable automation of operations and setting up of a telemedicine center. This will in turn help improve delivery of service.

The private firms to be shortlisted to finance the hospital construction project will operate the facility for a certain period after which operation will be transfered to government. During this time of operation, the private ventures will keep 60 per cent of profits according to Mrs Tare.

The proposed PPP model for the new hospital construction project is anticipated to be good news in regard to funding issues that have been affecting the hospital sector for such a long period of time. The public hospital only receives US$ 1.6m once a year from the government for development purposes.

Kenyatta National Hospital is Kenya’s oldest and largest public hospital having a capacity of handling up to 1,800 beds.

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Tanzania – Power contract with US firms signed in Dar es Salaam


POWER transmission and distribution to rural areas of the country is expected to increase in the next three years after the government signed a contract worth 97bn/- with two USA companies.  ”We hope that the signing of these two contracts that were won by American companies will help Tanzanians leap frog into the 21st Century as well as help chip away the barriers that limit greater distribution of power,” the US Ambassador to Tanzania, Mr Alfonso Lenhardt said.

Speaking at the signing ceremony in Dar es Salaam on Monday, Mr Lenhardt who witnessed the event said that the contracts would help in increasing the number of people getting power to at least 18 per cent from the current 15 per cent.  Mr Lenhardt said that the US firms would ensure that from the power transmission and distribution projects under the Millennium Challenge Compact, Tanzanians get better health, education and better lives.  ”This is indeed a thrill to see two US companies coming up on top after fierce competition for the contracts. I would like to urge Pike Electric and Symbion Power to get the work done on time and it should be done professionally though I have no doubt it shall be,” he said.

he Tanzania Millennium Challenge Account Chief Executive Officer, Mr Bernard Mchomvu explained that the contract awards represent the achievement of yet another important milestone in the ongoing implementation of the 206m US dollars MCC Energy Project.

Mr Mchomvu pointed out that Symbion Power had been given two lots worth 47.7m US dollars covering Mwanza, Morogoro, and Iringa and Mbeya regions while Pike Electric will execute a package covering the regions of Dodoma and Tanga amounting to 17.9m US dollars.  ”We are very confident that the great historical performance record you are carrying will be positively demonstrated at the delivery end and we hate to see anything otherwise,” he cautioned

The Symbion Power Chief Executive Officer, Mr Paul Hicks said after the signing that over 2000 jobs would be established from the distribution and transmission of power to the regions and that a lot more would be trained along the way. ”We are setting up a training centre in Morogoro and hope that once our three years are up, we will leave numerous Tanzanians with the skills as well as companies that will not necessitate foreign assistance,” Mr Hicks said.

The Pike Electric Chief Executive Officer, Mr Eric Pike explained that his company had been in the power distribution industry since 1945 but it had never worked outside the US and that this was a challenge they were looking forward to especially since the country was on its way towards achieving its goals.

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