Sep 26, 2017 Last Updated 8:34 AM, Sep 26, 2017

Eskom posts worst results to date

ABN – South Africa’s national power utility Eskom has presented annual results that contain some of its worst performance metrics in history.

The group’s net profit fell by almost half, from R7.1 billion to R3.6 billion in the last financial year, and the completion of three major power plants has been pushed back by two years.

Eskom has been hit by factors including weaker output from its aging coal-fired power stations, delays in constructing new plants, load-shedding hurting electricity sales and thieves stealing R102 million’s worth of conductors, cabling and other equipment.

Nevertheless, acting CEO Brian Molefe presented the results in a positive light, pointing to the utility’s success in supplying electricity 96% of the time on average (notwithstanding loadshedding).

“This is not a hopeless situation,” he said. “We’re cash positive from operations.”

He added that Eskom had begun an accelerated programme to bring three more power plants – Ingula, Kusile and Medupi – onstream, with Ingula due to come online in the second half of 2016.


Uganda pushes toward oil production

ABN – Uganda has just closed applications for its first round of competitive licensing for oil blocks, undeterred by low oil prices worldwide.

Seventeen companies, including Tullow Oil and Sasol, entered applications for the six blocks offered in the Albertine Graben region around Lake Albert.

Irene Muloni, Uganda’s energy minister, told This is Africa that the country wanted “to take advantage of this decline in the oil price and therefore the decline in the operations and maintenance price”.

She added: “We can use [this time] for preparation, so by the time the oil price is up we are ready for production.”

Uganda is estimated to contain 6.5 billion barrels of oil and 500 billion cubic feet of natural gas, ranking it fourth in sub-Saharan Africa in terms of size of reserves.

The country aspires to produce its first oil by 2018.


Dangote oil refinery receives US grant

ABN – The Dangote Oil Refining Company in Nigeria has received a training grant from the US Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) worth US$997.4 million.

The grant will fund a multi-year programme to train more than 100 staff on refinery fundamentals, as part of a US government advocacy campaign.

USTDA deputy director Enoh Titilayo Ebong said: “USTDA is pleased to support the Dangote Oil Refining Company’s efforts to increase Nigeria’s domestic refining capacity.

“This program builds upon USTDA’s long history of support for vital infrastructure development in Nigeria.”

The Dangote Oil Refinery is the biggest in Nigeria and will process around 500,000 barrels of crude per day when completed in 2017 – about a quarter of the company’s total crude production.

It is owned by Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, who has invested $11 billion in the project.


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