Energy Solutions

ENERGY SOLUTIONS

Access to Energy: As in the case of access to finance and housing, we believe that access to steady and affordable energy is crucial for the emergence of a “vibrant private sector-led economy” on the continent, the reduction of production costs for the business community and for the improvement of the standards of living of its people.

In this area, we develop power generation solutions as Independent Power Producers (IPPs) under Build-Own-Operate (BOO) or Build-Own-Operate-Transfer (BOOT) agreements through 2 types of ventures:

  • Large scale natural gas power plants;
  • Small scale steam turbines.

ENERGY MARKET

Connection rate is still very low in Africa. In many countries it hovers between 10 and 20% (Ethiopia, Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya, DRC, etc.). Even higher access rates (Nigeria, Cameroon, Ghana, etc) might be deceiving because of the very intermittent provision of power. Not surprisingly, connection rates in rural areas are even lower. They are below 5% in most countries.

Insufficient investments in new power generation over the last several decades, lack of adequate maintenance of existent assets, and natural causes, such as drought on the supply side combined with population growth and urbanization on the demand side, have engendered a widening energy gap in Africa.

The magnitude of the energy gap and the resulting rolling blackouts and unpredictable power outages has reached acute crisis proportions. Its crippling effects on the economies of Sub-Saharan Africa are felt across the general public and all sectors of the economy.

ECONOMIC BOTTLENECK

Insufficient power supply and infrastructure are major impediment for growth in Africa. Even those connected to the national power grids experience erratic and less than optimal supply of energy, making production planning very difficult and causing significant disruptions, damages to production equipment and substantial losses to their activities.

Investments in individual power generators for small or large scale businesses, when they can afford them, penalize operators, cause higher gas emissions and translate into higher production costs vis-à-vis international competitors.

Up to 90% of industrial customers and a considerable percentage of residential and non-residential customers have their own means of power generation. In their majority they have turned to diesel and gas generators (genset) which represent now a large and growing market despite its high operating costs.

ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT

Extensive use of fuel-wood and charcoal for domestic energy purposes causes deforestation at an accelerated pace, pressuring further an already fragile ecosystem, victim of local and global pollution and climate change.

Diesel emissions from generators now surpass those from workplaces, trucks, and buses and pose greater risks to human health and environment due to proximity and prolonged use. Furthermore diesel exhaust containts many air contaminants, including many known or suspected cancer-causing substances and other harmful environmental pollutants.

To address or limit adverse health and environmental effects of gensets effective wasys to generate electricity are urgently required. Natural gas power plants are one of the most effective and clean ways to provide a systemic response to this challenge.

INVESTMENT PRIORITY

Insufficient power generation capacity has had negative impact on the economies of African countries and generated frustrations and even political tensions.

In most countries, investment in power generation capacity to address this acute need is a high priority for governments, the private sector and the general public at large.

International development organizations and institutional investors as well have identified investments in the energy sector as a top priority and considerable amount of financial resources are being dedicated to this sector both from the public and the private sectors.

ENERGY VENTURES

Attractive opportunities exist for private sector investors and operators to help meet the pent-up demand for energy across Sub-Saharan Africa under Build-Own-Operate (BOO), Build-Own-Operate-Transfer (BOOT) or PPP (Private-Public-Partnership) agreements to supplement public investments.

Through two primary solutions — large natural gas-fired power plants and small and decentralized power plants using steam generators  to outfit existing power plants (combined cycle), African Century and its partners develop and operate power generating stations as Independent Power Producers (IPPs) supplying efficient, affordable and environmentally friendly energy to the national grid or to local communities.

EXPERTISE & PARTNERSHIPS

To ensure smooth execution of its ventures, African Century relies on its domain expertise and ability to operate effectively on the continent and strategic partnerships with leading services providers for the delivery of specialized expertise such as engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) services.