Coal's Role in East Africa: Kibo
A small South African developer has shone a light on how keen East Africa remains to develop new coal-fired power generation, despite the region's abundance of indigenous gas.
Johannesburg-based, Ireland-registered Kibo Energy said October 19 it has submitted a formal tender qualification document (TQD) to the Tanzania’s state utility Tanesco to develop the up to 600 MW Mbeya coal to Power Project - in units of 150 MW – in cooperation with GE and China’s SepcoIII, with advice from Tractebel Engie.
Kibo said it is simultaneously developing three similar coal-fired independent power projects: Mbeya in Tanzania, Mabesekwa in Botswana, and Benga in Mozambique.
The Southern Africa Power Pool 2017 report, released this summer, showed how one-third of the 30.6 GW of new generation capacity expected to be added in 2017-22 across the region – which includes coal-heavy South Africa – would be coal-fired, compared with only 14% gas-fired. However the actual deployment of new capacity may turn out to be different.
Regulatory uncertainty in Tanzania is a key reason holding back investment in Tanzania's upstream as well as in industries that would require gas as feedstock.