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Equatorial Guinea is set to construct West Africa’s first LNG storage and regas plant. Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima, Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons announced the plans and said that the project aims to monetise gas resources through the creation of domestic gas-to-power infrastructure.

The plant will be built by American manufacturer Corban Energy Group and spearheaded by local construction and engineering firm Elite Construcciones. German companies ESC Engineers and Noordtec are also  working closely with Elite Construcciones in the design, development and construction of the LNG project.

Akonikien LNG project.

The Akonikien LNG project will have a storage capacity of 14,000 cubic meters with 12 bullet tanks. The tanks will have a capacity of 1,228 cubic meters and dimensions of 31 meters by 9.3 metres by 8.8 metres. Each tank is estimated to require 12 hours to complete the 12,000-metre distance from the port to the new plant.

The storage plant will be located at the Port of Akonikien on the country’s mainland. This will enable the transportation and storage of LNG from the country’s LNG plant at the Punta Europa Gas Complex on Bioko Island, to Akonikien on the southern border of the mainland.

It will then be fed into the regasification plant to be distributed to smaller-scale power plants and LNG power stations throughout the country, as well as exported to neighbouring countries. Elite Construcciones will also install a truck loading station and 12 kilometres of 10-inch gas and diesel pipelines.

West Africa’s first LNG storage and regas plant

“This terminal will be the the first of many upcoming projects under the LNG2Africa initiative. LNG2Africa has a clear objective of developing small-scale LNG projects to supply gas to countries and regions with limited infrastructure,” said Mr. Gabriel.

LNG2Africa initiative was launched by the Ministry of Mines and Hydrocarbons in 2018, the initiative seeks to facilitate the production and trade of LNG through the creation of domestic gas-to-power infrastructure and intra-African LNG industry.

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The federal government of Nigeria has announced plans to deliver one million affordable houses every year in bid to address housing deficit in the country.

Minister of state, works and housing, Abubakar Aliyu announced the plans during an inspection of the Federal Housing Authority (FHA) mass housing project in Zuba, Federal Capital Territory and said that the government is set to provide enabling environment to attract investors into the housing sector for the project to commence.

Affordable housing 

“The government has decided to improve on current construction of 100,000 houses per years in order to meet the basic needs of the people. By delivering one million houses per year, we will close the 17 million housing shortfall by the year 2033. That is the target of government, we are committed to doing that and to ensure that the programmes, policies are accomplished,” said Abubakar.

The minister further affirmed that problems associated with acquisition of lands would be addressed. The houses will be designed specifically for the middle and low income earners both in the public and private sector and the self-employed, once they meet up with the criteria.

Zuba project

The Zuba project is located near the Zuba Model Market, the Zuba Spare Parts Market and the FCT College of Education. The project which was to be completed by August was delayed because of the rainy season. The 764 housing units is at 75% completion stage.

Rising population, rapid urban migration and uncoordinated policy direction of the government are some of the critical factors deepening the housing gap. Building in Nigeria is also very expensive and this is due to the high cost of building materials, high costs of skilled labour, and the costs associated with public infrastructure such as sewers and roads. The high cost of building in Nigeria, as well as lack of proper mortgage finance market, has frustrated the efforts of many Nigerian with stable jobs who want to own a home of their own.

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Mozambique has launched the 40MW Mocuba power in the province of Zambézia, in eastern part of the country. President Filipe Jacinto Nyusi performed the inauguration ceremony.

The solar plant project built by a consortium of Scatec Solar and partners, covers an area of 200 hectares, 170 hectares of which are occupied by the solar panels of the plant. It’s presently dominated by hydropower with dams on the Zambezi River, as well as the Cahora Bassa dam (2,075 MW).

Mocuba power plant

According to Raymond Carlsen, Managing Director of Scatec Solar, the plant  which will be connected to the national grid, will make a significant contribution to increasing the country’s share of renewable energy by providing clean energy to about 175,000 households.

“We are proud to complete the primary giant-scale alternative energy plant in the African nation in shut cooperation with our partners. The star plant is a vital contributor to extend the share of renewable power within the country by delivering clean energy to around a 175,000 households,” said Raymond Carlsen.

The independent power producer (IPP) Scatec Solar is part of the consortium that owns the Mocuba solar photovoltaic plant. The other shareholders of the project are; the state-owned company Electricidade de Mozambique (EDM) and KLP Norfund Investments, a financial institution owned by the Oslo-based insurance company.

The Mocuba solar project was also supported by the Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (EAIF) of the Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG), a multi-donor organization with members from seven European countries and the World Bank Group.

The electricity produced will be sold EDM under the 25-year power purchase agreement (PPA) signed in 2016 during a statement that the clean energy made by the Mocuba plant can contribute to avoiding regarding seventy-5,000 tonnes of carbon emissions per annum.

 

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The first fast train line in Africa is fully operational. Railway infrastructure constructor Colas Rail, who built the project announced the reports

Al Boraq high-speed train line

The Al Boraq high-speed train line links the cities of Tangier and Casablanca, in Morocco. It was inaugurated in Morocco in November last year by King Mohammed VI in the presence of French President Emmanuel Macron.

Colas Rail subsidiary Colas Rail Morocco, in a consortium with engineering company Egis Rail, won a design-build contract for the high-speed line. The consortium built a 182 km/s electrified double track between Tangier and Kenitra.

First fast train line
According to Colas Rail Africa business Development Director Frédéric Priest, the railway allows for a maximum operational speed of 320 km/h and leads to a two-and-a-half-hour gain between Tangiers and Casablanca.

Construction works on the project included track studies and construction of catenaries and two base camps. Frédéric Priest added that some of the high-speed-line project key figures included two-million tons of ballast, 50 000 t of rail, 700 000 sleepers, 400 km of track and a 25 kV catenary.

About 5 000 workers were mobilized during this project out of which 95% were recruited from the areas of Tangier, Casablanca and Rabat. Colas Rail laid 18 km of rail track – 10 km on the Kamsar port site and 8 km in Tuinguilinta. More than 75 000 t of ballast were transported to the site, along with 14 500 t of various machines and material.

“In Morocco, it was a legally binding solicitation. Our customer, Morocco national railroad administrator the ONCF Agency, requested that we consider the nearby combination of aptitudes by making an instructional hub during the task. In Africa, Colas and Colas Rail are accustomed to working with nearby accomplices and preparing neighborhood individuals on location. It is a solid duty from our side and we trust in this model,” said Frédéric Priest.

 

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Financial closure for the 250MW West Bakr wind farm project in Egypt has been reached nearly four years since the developer, Lakela Power, a 60-40 joint venture between Actis and a consortium led by Ireland-based wind and solar developer Mainstream Renewable Power, first signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) over the project.

The US government’s Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) have provided subsidy for the project. Also Read:Egypt to hold community consultation for Hamrawein coal power project

Construction work to commence the soonest.
Lekela CEO Chris Antonopoulos announced that at this stage construction works should commence as soon as possible at the projects site situated 30 km north-west of Ras Ghareb, the northernmost of the markazes (municipalities) in the Red Sea Governorate of Egypt. The power plant will be fitted with 96 units of Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy’s (BME:SGRE) SG 2.6-114 turbines through a turnkey engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract, that states that the later will provide a 15-year long-term maintenance services as well. Lakela West Bakr wind farm is expected to be fully operational in 2021 with a capacity to produce 1,000GWh per year, enough to power more than 350,000 homesteads.

Wild life protection initiative
Lekela power has put into consideration that the West Bakr Wind farm site is a significant bird migration path and is therefore working closely with authorities to ensure that wildlife is protected. For instance, it has signed a protocol with the Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency and its Migratory Soaring Birds project to contribute towards the funding and implementation of the Migratory Birds Monitoring training programme.Furthermore, the company is participating in a “shut down on demand” programme. This programme will enable the turbines to stop when birds are detected.

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The county government of Mombasa has forwarded to the state’s Department of Housing and Urban Development, an ambitious plan to upgrade the coastal city to a manufacturing and value addition hub with world-class infrastructure.

Dubbed Mombasa County Urban Regeneration Project, the plan was crafted by the county government department of housing and urban development in consultation with the ministries of Tourism and Environment. Experts from Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) and Technical University of Mombasa were also involved.

Major projects in the plan
The plan includes construction of an international conference center namely Mombasa International Convention Centre (MICC) which is expected to cost between US $58m and US $97m.

Upon completion the Convention Centre will increase the average annual hotel occupancy from the current 40% to 80% by 2025 and ensure all year-round foreign and local visits.

To address the growing concerns in cancer management, the county also plans to establish a comprehensive cancer care and treatment center on a land that will be provided by the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA), so that diagnosed patients will not have to travel to Nairobi or abroad for treatment.

Moreover, the plan outlines construction of US $483m affordable homes in Miritini Green, Changamwe, Tudor, Khadija, Mzizima, Buxton, Likoni Customs, Likoni Flats, Nyerere, Mvita, Tom Mboya and Kaa Chonjo estates in an effort to plug a 380,000 unit deficit in the city.

Other Projects
Other projects in the plan include construction of a US $6m high-rise vehicle parking lot at Makadara grounds with a capacity to accommodate at least 1000 vehicles; a lay out of a US$ 10m, 46.9km storm water drainage system that cuts across Mvita, Changamwe, Jomvu, Kisauni, Nyali and Likoni sub-counties to address recurrent floods that have led to loss of lives and property in the past.

Additionally, the county eyes construction of a fish port plus processing plant and a slaughterhouse at the cost of US $24m and US $16m respectively. On the plan is also a start of a US $60m bus rapid transport system to ease movement within the City.

All the projects will be funded through a Public Private Partnership (PPP), more specifically, the tourism fund, government loans and development partners.

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According to news organisation CNN, the project is being headed up by Italian architect Stefano Boeri alongside Egyptian designer Shimaa Shalash and Italian landscape architect Laura Gatti, who revealed designs for three buildings covered in planted terraces in the desert, 30 miles east from Cairo.

The development will include three tower blocks, each measuring 30m in height, and will reportedly comprise 350 trees and 14,000 shrubs of over 100 species overall. Two of the properties will be residential apartments and one will be a hotel, according to the report.

Speaking to CNN, Shalash said that she had been working on the vertical forest residential development with Boeri for the past five years.

“Egypt is witnessing a flourishing moment in terms of new planning and real estate development. This is the moment to be present,” said Shalash reportedly. “We couldn't think of a better start than introducing environmentally sustainable architecture solutions.”

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Bouygues Batiment International construction company has together with their modular construction laboratory Dragages Singapore, completed the construction of the 459 feet Clement Canopy buildings in Singapore. With its completion, the building is now the holder of world’s tallest modular buildings title which was previously held by George Street, a 135-metre tower erected by Tide Construction in Croydon, England.

The 40 stories Clement Canopy is a housing project situated on the heart of a residential and student district in Singapore. The two towers structure made up of 1,899 modules was designed by a local architectural farm known as ADDP Architects and it houses 505 two-, three- and four-bed apartments, with a swimming pool complex at the base.

Clement Canopy


Bouygues Bâtiment International’s head of modular construction Aurélie Cleraux said that each of the 1,899 modules was around 85% finished off-site, before being transported and assembled onsite.

“The module’s structures were precast in a yard in Senai, Malaysia, then a factory in Tuas, west Singapore, carried out the fit-outs including painting, windows frames and glazing, doors, wardrobes and MEP (mechanical, electrical and plumbing) to a nearly finished stage,” revealed Aurélie Cleraux,

He added that upon arrival at the site, the modules were stacked and installed at the same time the concrete core was built in a carefully choreographed sequence.

Benefits of Modular Construction
The team embarked on this challenging mode of construction due to the many gains it comes in handy with. First, by industrializing and building 50% of the project offsite, loss of time due to poor on-site weather conditions are eliminated. Secondly, each module can be manufactured under strict quality control, treatments, and defects can be managed prior to handover hence dwindling the chances of imperfection. And lastly, it is more eco-friendly in that it increases onsite waste management.  According to Cleraux, this method enabled them to practically reduce waste onsite by 70% and around 30% offsite with a central materials and logistics platform.

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The government of Botswana has awarded 100km pipeline project to Khato Civils. The company will be working together with Water Utilities Corporation to implement similar projects that will contribute towards social and economic emancipation of communities in the identified villages along the corridor of the new 100km project.

The 100 km pipeline project


According to Khato Civils CEO, Mongezi Mnyani, due to the urgency of water supply required into greater Gaborone, the design and implementation of the project will be fast tracked and completed within 12 months of the award of contract. “The site establishment processes are already underway including the mobilisation and sourcing of all required materials for the execution of the project,” he added.

In addition to that, Mnyani said that Khato Civils will be sub-contracting 30% of the works to Batswana owned local sub-contractors and suppliers in order to boost their economic and developmental state as required by local legislation.

Khato Civils joint venture, which already has a clean track record in Botswana, having undertaken a US $18m water works at Mmadinare, recently signed on the dotted lines for the commencement of the US $65m Pula water works scheduled for completion inside 12 months.

About Khato Civils

So far in Botswana, the company has built a classroom block and improved the look of the cemetery in Mmadinare where they implemented two water works projects for WUC. The company is also currently building a classroom block for reception class at Letsibogo Primary School in Mmadinare.

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South Africa’s 100MW Kathu Solar Park located in the Northern Cape, has accomplished its first synchronization to the national grid.

 

Tech and engineering companies, SENER and ACCIONA Industrial announced the reports and said they have reached a critical milestone in the construction project of million dollar solar park.

 

Mr Siyabonga Mbanjwa, SENER Southern Africa Regional Managing Director acknowledged that the synchronization has complied with all expected parameters to ensure the supply of power starts and end users can consume reliable energy once the plant is operational.

The Kathu Solar Park CSP Plant, is equipped with a molten salt storage system that will allow the plant to keep producing electricity 4.5 hours steadily in absence of solar radiation and guarantee dispatchable energy generation to meet on demand needs.

 

The solar park is estimated to provide clean and reliable energy to 179,000 homes. It was awarded preferred bidder in the 3.5 round of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP) led by the South African Department of Energy.

 

The use of molten salt as thermal energy storage system will allow Kathu Solar Park to operate in a cost-effective manner, storing the generated energy from the sun, producing and dispatching electricity, in absence of solar radiation, to satisfy South Africa’s peak demand.

 

Local employment prospects

Construction on the unit began in May 2016, and it is expected to be completed in early 2019. During this phase, around 1,200 jobs are being created impacting positively the local employment prospects. In addition to this, it is estimated that the Kathu Solar Park will save six million tons of CO2 over 20 years, and it will foster more local economic development through several project.

 

“With the successful first synchronization at Kathu Solar Park we are heading into the final stages of the construction and commissioning phase of the project that will ultimately reach the COD (commercial operation date) for the plant in the next couple of months,” said Mr. Siyabonga Mbanjwa.

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The government of Somaliland and Ethiopia have launched a US $400m road project that will link Ethiopia’s border town of Togochale to Berbera Port in Somaliland.

 

Speaking during the launch ceremony, Somaliland’s President Muse Bihi Abdi said the road will provide access for landlocked Ethiopia to an additional seaport and significantly boost trade between the two countries. It is estimated Somaliland imports to Ethiopia is worth over US $800m annually.

The 72 kilometre-road is an ambitious and strategic road project that will also enable Somaliland to benefit greatly from the winds of change blowing across the Horn of Africa. The agreement calls for infrastructure investment to upgrade the existing Berbera Port and to build a new adjacent Container Port. It is projected to take 18 months to be complete.

 

For his part, Mustafa Mohammed Omar, the regional deputy President of Ethiopia’s Somali Region said the Berbera-Togochale corridor was instrumental in facilitating import-export trade for Ethiopia’s growing economy.

 

The road projects is being funded by the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development. The two countries had earlier in 2018 signed a joint venture agreement for the Berbera seaport while Dubai held 51% of shares.

 

The Dubai Ports World launched the construction work of the Berbera port and signed a 30-year concession agreement to administer the port which is located on the southern coast of the Gulf of Aden. The expansion will lead to the capacity of the port increase by 50%.

 

Meanwhile, Ethiopia has been playing a unique role in the realization of infrastructural driven economic integration and deploying peace enforcing missions in various hot spots of the continent. The country took a wise step to end hostilities and pursue economic and political partnership that is heralding a new era of good neighborliness in the Horn of Africa and beyond.

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