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Africa Brief: Ghana plans oceanic terminal for imported LNG, Prosecutors Face big test as Ruto appears before ICC and more

Ghana plans oceanic terminal for imported LNG to drive electricity

Ghana plans to build a floating liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal off its Atlantic Ocean coast to receive imported gas that would be used to produce up to 1.500MW of electricity by 2016, a senior energy official said in Nairobi yesterday. Ghana, which is the second-largest gold producer in Africa and is also ranked the number two cocoa grower globally, says its push to expand industrial produc­tion has been constrained by an energy deficit that has seen manufacturing costs soar.The West African country’s floating LNG terminal will have the capacity for up to 450-million cubic feet per day of gas, which will then be used to drive turbines. The country of 25-million people generates most of its 2.814MW of electricity from hydropower dams, the rest from thermal sources, while a small portion is solar power. Ghana’s power demand stands at about 1.7S0MW and is forecast to nearly double to 3,300MW by 2020. Kofi Ellis, director of planning and business development at the state-run power utility Volta River Authority, said a feasibility study would be done by year-end and the next eight months would be spent on raising funds.The project itself would then take 12 months to complete, and be ready for operation in 2016

The Ghanaian government has also attracted investment in the energy sector and has raised about $4bn to help increase electricity generation with the help of private companies. This will further aid the country to meet its rising demand, which is growing at a compound annual growth rate of 8%.Ghana is hoping that by 2015 it will become a major exporter of electricity to West Africa, as the country shifts to gas-based power generation in its thermal plants.

For the full story, read Ghana plans oceanic terminal for imported LNG to drive electricity by George Obulutsa, published by Business Day on 12/09/13

Prosecutors Face big test as Ruto appears before ICC

Kenya’s deputy president appeared before the International Criminal Court (ICC) yesterday charged with co-orchestrating a post-election bloodbath five years ago, a case that will test the sta­bility of a country seen as vital to security in East Africa. The trials of William Ruto and that of Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, which will start in November, have split public opin­ion, and witness testimonies of the violence in 2007-08 that killed more than a thousand people could stir tension. The cases are also a major test for prosecutors at the decade-old Hague-based ICC, who have had a low success rate and face accu­sations of focusing on African countries while avoiding war crimes in other global hot spots. Mr Kenyatta, Mr Ruto’s for­mer rival who became a political ally, faces similar charges of crimes against humanity. “This trial is about obtaining justice for the many thousands of victims of the post-election vio­lence and ensuring that there is no impunity for those responsible, regardless of power or position” ICC chief prosecutor Fatou Ben-souda told the court yesterday

For the full story, read Prosecutors Face big test as Ruto appears before ICC by Thomas Escritt and James Macharia, published by Business Day on 11/09/13

Grindrod considers further expanding Maputo car depot

Grindrod is already consid­ering a third phase expansion of its car terminal at Maputo port in Mozambique, which is a growing competitor to Trans-net’s car facility in Durban. The second phase expansion of Grindrod’s car terminal was only commissioned in July and increased its annual capacity to 121 000 units from 52 000 units. Transnet’s car terminal in Durban has an annual capacity of more than 500 000 units. ‘Alan Olivier, Grindrod’s chief executive, said its Maputo terminal was operating at full capacity despite the recent ex­pansion. He confirmed this week that the listed integrated logistics service supplier might expand the depot further but declined to comment on when this was likely to happen.

For the full story Grindrod considers further expanding Maputo car depot by Roy Cokayne, published by The Star, Business Report on 06/09/2013

Sanlam seeks bolt-on acquisitions in Africa

Long-term insurer Sanlam is not keen on expanding into new regions despite sitting on a R3.2 billion cash surplus. Instead the insurer, whose financial results outperformed most of its rivals in the first half of this year, has ear­marked a big chunk of this surplus for bolt-on acquisitions in African countries where it already has operations. Sanlam chief executive Johan van Zyl said yesterday that the company was also planning to invest more in India, where it bought a stake in Shriram Capital last year, as well as in its operations in south-east Asia.

For the full story Sanlam seeks bolt-on acquisitions in Africa by Londiwe Buthelezi, published by The Star, Business Report on 06/09/2013

NIGERIA: NNPC cautions on Chevron sale

Nigeria’s state oil company warned investors yesterday that buyers of three shallow water oil blocks offered for sale by Chevron might lose the right to operate them. Chevron is selling minority stakes in joint ventures that operate five oil blocks. The majority owner is the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). Nigeria wants more direct ownership of its oil and gas through the NNPC or local companies, leading several oil majors to dispose of assets.

For the full story Nigeria: NNPC cautions on Chevron sale by Reuters , published by The Star, Business Report on 06/09/2013

MOROCCO: Growth falling short-official

Morocco would probably struggle to meet this year’s economic growth target as sluggish lending and a drop in exports offset increased farm output a government official said yesterday The economy would expand 3.5 percent to 4 percent this year instead of the 4.5 percent forecast in the budget, said the official who has seen the data and asked not to be identified as the figures had not been made public. UK risk consultant Maplecroft said sluggish growth jeopardised efforts to trim the budget deficit, which the International Monetary Fund forecasts will narrow for the first time in five years.

For the full story read Morocco: Growth falling short-official by Bloomberg, published by The Star, Business Report on 06/09/2013

SOUTH SUDAN: Oil output rising as threat ends

South Sudan was producing 180 000 barrels of oil a day and planned to add 20 000 barrels a day after Sudan dropped a threat to close two cross-border export pipelines, the country’s oil ministry said yesterday On Tuesday, Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir told South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir that Khartoum would allow the landlocked nation to continue using its oil export facilities and Port Sudan. South Sudan’s petroleum ministry would increase output first to 200 000 barrels a day and then 250 000 barrels a day by year-end. Technical teams would lift output in the next two weeks, the ministry said.

For the full story read South Sudan: Oil output rising as threat ends by Reuters, published by The Star, Business Report on 06/09/2013

KENYA: First Eurobond may be $1.5bn

Kenya planned to raise at least $1.5 billion (R15bn) in a debut dollar-denominated sovereign debt offering, Economic Secretary Geoffrey Mwau said yesterday, confirming the Treasury’s announcement last week that it would seek more than initially targeted. He said Kenya had been busy choosing lead advisers for the sale since June and once appointed, the amount and timing would be decided. On Wednesday Treasury Secretary Henry Rotich said the government might issue as much as $2bn in the Eurobond market. The government expects the economy to expand 5.8 percent this year.

For the full story read Kenya: First Eurobond may be $1.5bn by Bloomberg, published by The Star, Business Report on 06/09/2013

Share placement nets Mwana $3.2m

London-listed junior miner Mwana Africa has raised $3.2m (R32m) through a placement of shares, amounting to 11.7% of the company’s issued share capital, with Chinese investors. The share placement took place as Chinese investors agreed to plough about $2bn into devel­oping Zimbabwe’s infrastructure, including the construction of a 600MW coal-fired power station, with the first 300MW generating unit due to start up in mid-2015.The Mwana shares were taken up by the China International Mining Group Corporation (CIMGC), which bought 130.2-million shares, with the balance of 85-million shares being bought by CIMGC chairman Ning Yat Hoi in his personal capacity. CIMGC will hold a 23.1% stake in Mwana Africa and Mr Ning 6.85%.

Excerpt  from Share placement nets Mwana $3.2m by Brendan Ryan, published by Business Day on 06/09/2013

Court to insist on trials despite Kenyan vote

Kenya’s parliament voted yesterday to quit the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court (ICC), but the Dutch-based tribunal said it would press ahead anyway with the trials of its pres­ident and his deputy. President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto are accused of orchestrating violence after elections in 2007. About 1,300 people were killed in ethnic bloodletting that plunged East Africa’s biggest economy into crisis. The ICC’s first trial of a sitting president is viewed as the biggest test to date for an institution that has faced criticism in Kenya and across Africa, where it is accused of bias because all suspects to date have been Africans. The Kenyan parliament’s deci­sion could also act as a precursor to other African countries pulling out of the Rome Statute that established the ICC.

Excerpt from Court to insist on trials despite Kenyan vote by Steve Mbogo, published by Business Day on 06/09/2013

David Okwara

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