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French Firm Acquires 100 MW Solar Power Plant In South Africa

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 A South African-French multinational electric utility company, ENGIE, has signed a deal to acquire from a Spanish counterpart, Abengoa, a 40% equity stake in Xina Solar One, a 100 MW Concentrated Solar plant, as well as 46% of the Operations & Maintenance Company.

The plant is equipped with parabolic trough technology and a molten salt storage system that allows for 5.5 hours of energy storage to provide reliable electricity during peak demand.

Power is contracted through a 20 years Power Purchase Agreement with Eskom (South African Electricity Public Utility). 

Xina Solar One is supplying clean energy to more than 95,000 South African households and prevents the emission into the atmosphere of approximately 348,000 tons of CO2 each year.

The plant is located in the Northern Cape of South Africa, which is also the location of ENGIE’s 100 MW Kathu CSP plant.

Xina Solar One increases ENGIE’s renewable footprint and is a further step to cementing its position as the leading Independent Power Producer in the country.

Synergies between Xina and Kathu will be developed to further enhance the operational efficiency of both plants.

“With the acquisition of this project, ENGIE is pursuing its low carbon strategy. Xina augments the country’s installed peaking power and reduces its dependence on coal-fired electricity. The 100 MW CSP plant also contributes to ENGIE’s geographic rationalization by expanding its footprint in South Africa, where it is the leading Independent Power Producer with 1,320 MW of installed capacity.”  says Sébastien Arbola, CEO of ENGIE MESCATA.

Mohamed Hoosen, CEO of ENGIE Southern Africa said: “ENGIE is valued as a highly-skilled IPP and a long-term player in the South African power industry. We are adding an innovative high-performing plant and are increasing our CSP capacity. This investment will create value over the lon- term while accelerating impact on the energy transition of our customers.”

Co-shareholders on Xina Solar One include Public Investment Corporation, a pension fund manager and a shareholder on ENGIE’s Kathu project (20%); Industrial Development Corporation, a development finance institution wholly- owned by the South African Government (20%); and Xina Community Trust, funded by the IDC (20%).

Xina Solar One, which started commercial operation in August 2017, was built by Abengoa.

Completion of the transaction is subject to the fulfillment of certain conditions including merger control clearance from relevant competition authorities.

In South Africa, ENGIE has interests in a CSP plant (100 MW Kathu), a wind farm (94 MW Aurora), 2 solar photovoltaic plants (21 MW), and 2 thermal power peaking plants (670 MW Avon and 335 MW Dedisa).

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Germany, Rwanda Sign Rwf90B Financing Agreement

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Finance Minister, Dr. Uzziel Ndagijimana, and the Germany Ambassador to Rwanda, Dr. Thomas Kurz, today signed two agreements worth € 78 million (Approximately Frw 90 billion).

The financing and technical cooperation agreement is the outcome of the Inter-Governmental Negotiations that were concluded last Year between our two respective Governments.

59 million Euros of the grant agreement will be provided through KFW Development Bank and will support various initiatives including technical and vocational training, promotion of export oriented SMEs, through the support to Export Credit Facility in Rwanda under BRD, promotion of green investments as well as ICT support.

The remaining Euros19 million will be channeled through GIZ and will support decentralization and good governance, prevention of sexual and gender based violence among others.

Speaking after the signing event, Minister Ndagijimana said the financial support extended to Rwanda will support key areas that are critical to the attainment of the country’s development objectives.

“This support comes at a critical juncture given the effects COVID-19 has had on our social –economic advancement. We look forward to boosting these important areas that are in line with our National Strategy for Transformation. We thank Germany for the strong cooperation and solidarity especially during the COVID-19 pandemic,“ Minister Ndagijimana said.

Ambassador Kurz stressed: “These Agreements underline the long-standing and proven cooperation between our two countries based on friendship and mutual trust. Germany is committed to support Rwanda in its Economic Recovery Process and the implementation of NST 1 in order to reach the SDGs and to leave no one behind.”

The Division of Labor allows Germany development cooperation programme to be active in Education (including TVET); Decentralization and Good Governance, Private Sector Development and Youth; Public Financial Management (PFM); Financial Development. Germany also supports Regional Projects: Centre of Excellence for Health, Improvement of the Investment Climate, Microfinance sector-MIFSSA, ICGLR and Energy.

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Malawi Issues 86 Licenses For Cannabis Production

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Malawi’s Cannabis Regulatory Authority said on Friday they had issued 86 licenses to 35 companies and cooperatives to venture into cannabis cultivation for industrial hemp production.

Boniface Kadzamila the Board Chairman of Cannabis Regulatory Authority made the announcement from Lilongwe on Friday afternoon.

He said that a total of 41 companies applied but only 35 of them satisfied the requirements.

According to him the authority has issued licenses for cultivation, processing and storage and has not yet issued any license for export of cannabis.

A recent analysis by Invegrow Limited, one of the firms that conducted research on industrial hemp, found that a kilogram of industrial hemp could fetch U$1,444 on the market that there is potential for direct annual benefit for Malawians in excess of U$ 135,440,973 on 16.5 hectares or U$8,803,663 per five hectares.

The analysis further indicated that the crop has ready markets whose global value chain is worth U$9billion thus giving local Malawi investors a basis to take up cannabis production.

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ex-Nakumatt CEO’s Home Auctioned

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Atul Shah, the former chief executive officer of the collapsed retail giant Nakumatt lost his home to auctioneers over a U$18,609,740 debt.

The auction follows the conclusion of a protracted court battle after the Kenyan High Court dismissed a petition seeking to overturn the forced sale of the high-end property by KCB Group.

Justice Francis Tuiyott dismissed the petition by the administrator of the collapsed Supermarket chain, saying it has no chance of success.

Nakumatt’s court-appointed administrator had opposed the sale on grounds that the auction failed to follow the law, and tagged Mr Shah as an interested party to suit.

The bank, through Leakey Auctioneers, early in the year quietly sold the property, which Mr Shah had used as additional security as Nakumatt’s guarantor to offer comfort to the multiple bank loans.

“This court is not persuaded that the suit, as currently presented, demonstrates a prima facie case with a probability of success. Being unable to surmount that hurdle, it is needless for this court to discuss other aspects raised in the application,” the judge said.

KCB had earlier sold Mr Shah’s prime property in Industrial Area, Nairobi, to Furniture Palace International Ltd for about U$9,677,064 court records show.

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