The Helmet Feeds Stay updated with every news article on your favorite constrcution news site. USD 1.7 Billion Qatari Highway contract awarded HLGHabtoor Leighton Group (HLG) in a joint venture with Al Jaber Engineering has been awarded a QAR 6.15 billion (US$ 1.7 billion) contract to design and construct a 56 km road in Qatar.

Awarded by Qatar’s public works authority, Ashghal, the contract is for package three of the New Orbital Highway and Truck Route near Doha.

This part of the highway connects the Mesaieed industrial area and new port projects to Salwa Road, including five main interchanges. Design and construction is expected to take 36 months to complete.

HLG CEO and managing director José Antonio López-Monís said the contract strengthened the contractor’s presence in Qatar.

“The Orbital highway is a major opportunity for HLG and our joint venture partner Al Jaber Engineering, and we are pleased to have been selected by Ashghal to work in partnership with them to deliver such an important element of national infrastructure for Qatar.”



]]> Thu, 27 Mar 2014 16:15:17 -0500 Ghana: Massive Traffic Jam caused by damaged bridge on motorway Accra-Tema Motorway


A major bridge on the Accra-Tema Motorway has almost caved in, causing heavy vehicular traffic on the road.

The situation has prompted the Ghana Highway Authority (GHA) to close part of the bridge to traffic from Tema to Accra for repair works.

As an interim measure to manage the vehicular traffic, the GHA has created a diversion near the bridge, which is close to the Old Abattoir.

When the Daily Graphic visited the scene Wednesday, officials from the Mobile Maintenance Unit (MMU) of the GHA in Suhum in the Eastern Region were busily assessing the situation for repair works to begin.

Efo Kwame Botse, a senior official of the MMU, told the Daily Graphic that the unit and the Bridge Maintenance Unit at Kukurantumi had been assigned to repair the bridge.

He could not indicate how long the repair works would take, but said the main pre-occupation of the rehabilitation gang for the moment was to divert traffic for work to start as soon as possible.

Efo Botse cautioned drivers and other road users from the Tema end of the motorway to approach the works area with caution to avoid any accidents.

He gave an assurance that the maintenance team would work as fast as possible to ensure that the repair works were undertaken with little effects on all road users.


The Accra-Tema Motorway, the 19-kilometre stretch of highway linking Accra with Ghana’s industrial and manufacturing hub, Tema, was one of the numerous prestigious projects conceived and built by the first President of Ghana, Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah.

The project formed part of the Seven-Year Development Plan (1963-1970) of the CPP government to transform the economic and material conditions of the people.

The main feature of the motorway is a dual carriageway with a median or central reservation area which separates the two carriageways which terminate at both ends with a toll booth.

For more than 30 years, the motorway has not undergone any major rehabilitation, leading to the development of numerous potholes which have caused accidents and traffic congestions.

The development of potholes was primarily due to the use of the road by vehicles loaded with cargo exceeding the permissible axle load weight for the highway.

In addition, lack of reflectors, breakdown of vehicles and unsafe bridges make driving on the highway in the night unsafe.Accra-Tema Toll-Booth

However, in 2002, the Kufuor administration attempted to provide street lights for the Motorway to abate the crime rate on it.

The project was to commemorate Ghana’s Golden Jubilee, but it was suspended due to cable thefts.

In 2009, the Mills government undertook the rehabilitation of the motorway at a cost of GH¢500,000, with part of it being constructed with epoxy mortar cement which dried in three days.

The eight-week exercise also involved the replacement of concrete slabs which had developed potholes and the repair of the asphalt surface on the shoulders of the road.

The motorway, however, still remains a pale shadow of its former self, as more work is needed to be done to transform it into a first-class highway.



]]> Thu, 13 Mar 2014 17:10:57 -0500 Ghana: CFAO and Societe Generale launch JCB Easy Lease Solution Launching the JCB Lease

Accra, Feb 19, GNA – CFAO Equipment Ghana Limited and Societe Generale (SG) Ghana on Tuesday launched a joint partnership, “JCB Easy Lease Solution,” for the sale of JCB Back Hoe Loader construction equipment.

Under the programme, JCB machines could be purchased from CFAO Equipment, while SG financed the acquisition with 20 per cent down payment from the buyer. The lease then would be paid over a one-year period.

Alhaji Amin Amidu Sulemani, Minister of Roads and Highways in a speech read on his behalf in Accra by his Deputy, Mr Isaac Adjei Mensah, said the JCB Lease Solution was a pace-setter, for more inter-organizational partnership focused on increasing contributions towards building and moving the Ghanaian construction industry forward.

He said the construction industry is a major contributor to national development, accounting for about nine per cent of gross domestic product in the past three years.

He said Ghana as a lower middle income country working towards full middle income status and with major gaps in economic infrastructure, the role of the construction industry cannot be over-emphasized.

The Minister said the construction industry continued to be an indicator of wealth and health of economies, adding that in line with the Better Ghana Agenda, government had placed infrastructure development as one of its priorities, and had over the years, been committed to the maintenance and provision of road infrastructure in the country.

He said prior to year 2000, there were only two major dealers in new earth moving and construction equipment in Ghana, declaring that unfortunately, the cost and terms of payment for the equipment were beyond the capacity of the average local contractor in Ghana.

“It is my hope that the launch of this partnership will open more avenues to help the construction industry to continue to play its pivotal role in meeting the aspiration of our people; both in our specific context and in achieving the government’s objectives of providing better infrastructure for the citizenry.

Mr Alexis Madrance, CFAO Equipment Ghana Ltd Managing Director, said the Easy Lease Solution, including one year maintenance and no hidden cost, would actively support Ghanaian contractors to deliver their projects, and to improve their efficiency and profitability.

“I will soon leave Ghana for a position in our Head Office in France, from where I will continue to support the development of CFAO in Western and Central Africa. I take this opportunity to thank you all for your support over the past three years,” he stated.

Mr Borut Vujcic, SG Ghana Deputy Managing Director said his company would continue to provide support for key sectors of the economy, such as the mining and construction industries.

Mr David Dolbear, J. C. Bamford Excavators Limited General Manager-Finance Solution, said JCB products are the best in the global construction industry.

He urged construction companies in Ghana to take advantage of the Easy Lease Solution, and equip themselves with quality construction machinery.

Mr John Tettey, Director for Works at the Ministry for Water Resources, Works and Housing, said the introduction of the programme had come at an opportune time as government rolled out new policies aimed at streamlining the construction industry.

Source: GNA

]]> Wed, 19 Feb 2014 05:33:09 -0600 Zambia: Dangote Ndola plant on track for July commissioning Dangote Cement

Dangote is expected to commission its new cement factory in Ndola in July this year, senior general manager for Dangote Projects, Anand Kameshwar, has indicated.

In an interview with All Africa news, Kameshwar said installation of major equipment at the plant by Sinoma Engineering of China was nearly complete. "Most of the major equipment has been installed and the project is on course and should be complete by July," he said.

The company is also constructing a 30MW power substation that would become operational in May this year and will provide electricity to the cement plant.



]]> Wed, 19 Feb 2014 05:13:19 -0600 Ghana: Pricing and Deregulation of the Energy Sector - Challenges and Prospects
IMANI Researcher, Patrick Stephenson, and Africa Economics LLC Co-Founder, Theo Acheampong, have just published their Q1 2014 overview of some of the most pressing issues confronting Ghana’s energy sector [See full report here:
Pricing and Deregulation of the Energy Sector in Ghana: Challenges & Prospects

Introduction - Ghana Energy Situation Report Q1, 2014

A cursory look at the current power situation in Ghana, against the background of the challenges many Ghanaians face accessing constant and reliable electricity supply for domestic and industrial activities, should reveal that the load shedding exercise (a.k.a ‘Dumsor-Dumsor’) we experienced during the first half of 2013 and which is forecasted to persist in the medium term beyond 2013  to 2015 though on a reduced scope  is primarily a self-imposed one. This is largely because of the State’s inability to provide the right incentives and a misaligned regulatory structure, which together have failed to attract the much needed investments into an electricity supply sector still dependent on legacy infrastructure. Ghana’s electricity supply market currently has an estimated 10 to 15% year-on-year demand growth boosted by increasing domestic and industrial demand. It is imperative therefore that the nation finds new generation sources which can satisfy this demand, whilst revamping the transmission and distribution infrastructure to cope with the increased throughput.

As Ghana seeks to expand its industrial base in the country’s quest to transform its economic fortunes, the reliable supply of energy, primarily electricity supply, will be the crucial factor and catalyst for industrial development which in the process will lift many out of poverty. The 2010 Wholesale Power Reliability Assessment report[i] estimated that Ghana loses between 2 to 6% of GDP annually not including a number of indirect costs of lost economic output due to insufficient wholesale power supply. Thus, the economic costs of inadequate power supply cannot be underestimated. The promised changes of the liberalized electricity markets as part of the IMF-World Bank Structural Adjustment Programmes started in the late 1990s which aims to bring increased private sector investments and expand capacity are yet to be realised due to an inefficient setup of the regulatory structures compounded by low tariff pricing options and gross wastage leading to sub-optimal outcomes for both consumers and the utilities companies almost 20 years down the line.

...Get the full report here:


]]> Wed, 05 Feb 2014 09:35:37 -0600 Concrete: New trends in construction Concrete Plant

Global demand for cement, the binder in concrete, is forecast to reach 4.7 billion tonnes in 2017, with sales expected to expand by more than +5% a year over the next four years, according to research company Freedonia.

While this represents a slight decline in pace from the 2007 to 2012 period, altogether, Freedonia’s figures constitute a fairly robust outlook for this key construction material.

At the same time there is a drive among the concrete construction sector’s equipment manufacturers to produce more versatile and efficient equipment, fuelled by the ever-present need for contractors to improve productivity.

New technology is playing a big role in the latest developments. Telematics systems that allow machines to be monitored remotely are spreading to every corner of the construction industry, for instance, often aiming to help to improve efficiency and performance of equipment.


Indeed, Guntert & Zimmerman (G&Z) has introduced a remote monitoring and diagnostics system in the concrete paving market – its new Equipment Guidance and Operation Network (EGON). This a modular network of controllers, on-board and remote monitoring and diagnostic options. It allows G&Z service technicians to remotely troubleshoot equipment issues from anywhere in the world, with the target of helping contractors maximise paving time.

Concrete Paver at Work

Available on all G&Z slipform paving equipment, EGON’s display gives an overview of key systems, including the status of all machine inputs and outputs, faults, fuel levels and electronic monitoring of hydraulic pump pressure and filter conditions.

A web-based remote user interface allows programme updates and remote troubleshooting, as well as location monitoring, data logging and maintenance reminders, among other functions.

In addition, a Stringless Preparation Kit can be included as an option on all G&Z pavers and support equipment. NoLine is comprised of an EGON software upgrade and a hardware kit, including telescopic masts for the total station prisms and battery backup to allow stringless paving.


Putzmeister has also been focussing on computer-controlled interaction between man and machine for its truck-mounted concrete pumps. It has developed a new radio remote control for its 38-5 truck-mounted concrete pumps, the Ergonic 2.0.

Designed to conserve energy and reduce emissions, the device monitors the interaction between outriggers, boom movements and pump functions. The control unit is larger yet lighter than its A Concrete Pumppredecessor, with a  high-resolution colour screen, and boasts new safety features such as guaranteeing the boom can only be moved in a permitted working envelope.

Specific machine settings are transferred via a chip card and the radio remote control can be used for other Putzmeister truck-mounted concrete pumps simply by exchanging the chip.

Reed, meanwhile, has concentrated on increasing the range of pumps available in the smaller size category. It has introduced a new compact concrete pump – the Mine30, designed for sites with very limited space.

It measures 2.44 m x 1.18 m and is 1.64 m tall, making it small enough to be cross mounted on a truck or other carrier. Fork channels on the side and end come standard.
Offering a maximum output of 23 m3 per hour, Reed’s S-Tube allows for pumping grout, pea-gravel concrete, shotcrete mixes, and “big rock” concrete with aggregates up to 38 mm. The Mine30 can be powered by an electric, diesel, or air motor.

Falsework & formwork

Manufacturers in the falsework and formwork sector have also been working to develop equipment and techniques to improve efficiency and flexibility for contractors. Doka, for instance, has a range of modular formwork that can be tailored to the complex demands of the energy sector, where fast construction progress is a important.

As well as specific systems for dam construction (see the large structures feature in the November 2013 issue of iC), Doka offers specific systems for building tanks, silos and cooling towers. Its SK175 cooling-tower formwork, for example, is a fully mechanised, self-climbing system for pouring 1.5 m high sections that is said to produce precise forming within short cycling times.

“If Doka is hired for a particular construction lot, we will develop a custom formwork solution for each individual task,” said Andreas Guttenbrunner, head of Doka’s competence centre for power plants.

Peri also tailored its working platforms to the needs of the energy sector with a contract to support construction of the 1,600 MW coal-fired Eemshaven power plant in Groningen, the Netherlands. Its Peri Up Rosett Flex modular scaffolding system provided safe access for welding and insulation work on the plant’s two 35 m high, 64 m long filters for flue gas desulphurisation.

Assembly of the modular scaffolding for the 35 m high working platform was carried out using a guardrail in advance, making rope protection unnecessary. In addition, the Peri scaffolding worked around the existing steel structure as well as those walkways already mounted.

Concrete accessories

Chicago Pneumatic meanwhile has focussed on productivity gains with its latest concrete poker range. Customers can now choose mechanical, electric or pneumatic pokers from the manufacturer to best meet their specific application and concrete type.

Freshly poured concrete has air voids which must be removed to increase its density and finished strength. Depending on the concrete’s depth and slump, this can be achieved using a poker or screed.

The company’s new VPM mechanical pokers are designed for mid-sized sites using medium-to-high slump concrete. VPE electric pokers, meanwhile, are aimed at medium-to-high slump concrete, while the VPP pneumatic poker range is designed for jobs of any size with low-to-high-slump concrete requiring high-speed vibration.

In addition to pokers, the company’s new concrete product line includes walk-behind screeds. The LBG 1200 hand-held screed provides surface vibration only and is said to be suitable for slabs of all types and concrete of all consistencies. Recommended for smaller slabs and medium-to-low slump concrete, the LBG 800 bull float screed provides deeper vibration and single-step levelling.

Further new products from Chicago Pneumatic include the launch of the CP CombiForm lightweight, leave-in-place screed rail system, together with a new range of STG power trowels and new concrete floor saws.Concrete Tools & Accessories

Advances are also being made in other corners of the concrete industry such as the reinforcement sector. Here, manufacturer Bamtec claims its prefabricated rebar reinforcement elements saved around 40% in laying time and also cut the amount of steel used by around -7% on an office construction project in Germany.

A total of 1,542 custom-made reinforcement elements will be installed on the project, each tailored to match the slab geometry of the building’s structure. According to Bamtec, about 610 tonnes of steel will be installed in the slabs, the floors and underground walls.

A production plant automatically assembles the bars for the project according to the plans via CAM-files. The bars are automatically selected, cut and welded to separate elements for each of the two reinforcement directions.

Each element is then rolled up when finished and supplied to the construction site where they are simply positioned and rolled out. This technology is said to remove the resource-intensive process of arranging and wiring single bars together, leading to time and cost savings.

“Thanks to fully automated production, the steel bars can be staggered in a very precise way, which would hardly be possible with a normal loose bar reinforcement, or if so only with a huge effort,” said Franz Häussler, CEO of Häussler Innovation GmbH and son of the inventor of the technology.

A new kind of lifting system was also tested to position the wall reinforcement that enabled components measuring up to 100 m² to be moved into position safely and swiftly.

“The principle involved here is that elements can be rolled out on the device, pre-assembled and secured before being lifted into position as complete sections of internal or external reinforcement“, explained Mr Häussler. “This could in future cut installation time by about -60%, relieving the workers from the awkward and partly dangerous process of steel fixing on the scaffolding.”

From innovations in rebar reinforcement to new remote monitoring and diagnostics systems, change is coming to every aspect of the concrete construction industry.

It will be interesting to see how quickly emerging markets adopt the latest technology, as well as how manufacturers tailor and adapt new designs to their specific target markets.

Source: Helen Wright /


]]> Wed, 22 Jan 2014 10:18:28 -0600 New funding proposal for Panama Canal over-runs Panama Canal Expansion Works

Grupo Unidos por el Canal (GUPC), the consortium working on the expansion of the Panama Canal, has proposed a co-financing plan to cover the project’s US$ 1.6 billion cost over-runs. The Panama Canal Authority (ACP), the Panamanian government’s client body for the project, is reported to be considering the offer and discussing it with its insurers.

Details of how the cost over-runs might be financed between GUPC and ACP have not been released. However, the proposal appears to have unblocked the stalemate between the two parties which threatened to see work suspended on the scheme, pushing back its 2015 completion date.

The cost over-runs stem from extra work required on the project due to unexpected ground conditions. The nature of the problem and the costs associated with them are not in dispute, the question is which party is liable to pay them.

The issue flared-up on December 30 when GUPC issued an ultimatum, saying it would suspend work in 21 days (January 20) unless the ACP paid the additional costs. The issue is currently under review by an international arbitration panel, and GUPC did not subsequently suspend work as threatened.

Various groups have attempted to mediate since then, including Spanish public works minister Ana Pastor and European Commissioner for industry & enterprise, Antonio Tajani.

The GUPC consortium comprises four contractors – Sacyr of Spain, Salini Impregilo of Italy, Jan De Nul of Belgium and Constructora Urbana of Panama.


Source: Chris Sleight / Image Credits: Impregilo

]]> Wed, 22 Jan 2014 09:56:27 -0600 Global housing expected to grow by more than 3 per cent a year

Worldwide construction of new housing is expected to increase +3.3% a year to reach 60.9 million units in 2017, according to research company Freedonia.

It said increased rural-to-urban migration, especially in developing countries, will spur construction of new housing units in urban areas.

And even though expansion of the world population is projected to decelerate, the number of households in the world is still expected to grow +1.5% annually, adding to the demand for new housing.

In 2012, the world housing stock was nearly 2.0 billion units. According to Freedonia, this stock will grow roughly in line with new household formations, causing the housing stock to increase +1.8% annually to 2.2 billion units in 2017.

The Asia Pacific region accounted for slightly over half of the world housing stock in 2012 and is forecast to maintain that share through to 2017.

Together, the Asia Pacific and Africa/Middle East regions are expected to account for over 80% of the world’s new housing units constructed in 2017.

North America is forecast to experience annual housing construction gains of +8.9% while Western Europe can expect gains of +5.9% a year, according to Freedonia.


Source:  Helen Wright / Image Credits:

]]> Wed, 22 Jan 2014 09:49:53 -0600 Emerging markets set to propel aggregates demand globally Aggregates being loaded

Global demand for construction aggregates is set to reach 53.3 billion tonnes by 2017, according to research company Freedonia. Growth is expected to average +5.8% per year between 2012 and 2017, with the most robust increases coming from emerging markets in Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

The company said China would account for more than half of the new demand that will be seen over the five-year period. However, growth in India, the second largest market in Asia, will be faster, as the Chinese market matures and decelerates from the high growth levels seen in the 2000s.

These factors will contribute to annual average growth in aggregates demand of +6.2% in the region between 2012 and 2017. The volume of aggregates sold in Asia is expected to rise to 36.5 billion tonnes per year by 2017 – almost 70% of the global total.

North America will be more subdued, at an average of +4.2% between 2012 and 2017. This is expected to take demand to 3.75 billion tonnes of aggregates per year by 2017. The downturn between 2007 and 2012 means in volume terms, the market in 2017 will be about level with 2007.

Western Europe is expected to see the weakest growth between 2012 and 2017, at an annual average rate of +3.3%. The volume of aggregates sales in the region is expected to hit 3 billion tonnes by 2017, still 275 million tonnes less than in 2007.

Other regions of the world are forecast to account for some 9.95 billion tonnes of aggregates demand by 2017, following average annual growth of +5.7% between 2012 and 2017.


Source: Chris Sleight /

]]> Wed, 22 Jan 2014 09:37:37 -0600 Company Watch: US manufacturer Phoenix forecasts 25 per cent sales increase for 2014 Stu Johnson, president of Phoenix Curb Machines, in front of the new PCM 3300.

Phoenix Curb Machines president Stu Johnson forecast an increase in sales of +25% year-on-year in 2014, as the manufacturer is poised to benefit from the continuing North American construction market recovery.

Speaking during the World of Concrete exhibition in Las Vegas, US, Mr Johnson said the company had plans to expand during the next 12 months.

"This year is our third year in business and we expect it to be better than 2013. I think sales will hit between US$ 4 million and US$ 5 million this year, so a +25% increase. We have a lot of customers in the US and Canada building infrastructure related to the oil sands boom, an area which has seen unbelievable growth.

"We are also in discussions with a company regarding creating a dealership network. We currently do all our sales in-house, and this company has a network of 320 dealers, so the deal would see us expand to the next level."

Phoenix Curb Machines had a number of new machines on its stand at World of Concrete, including the PCM 3300 all-wheel drive curb machine. Designed for medium curb and gutter jobs, the machine can pour up to 18 in (457mm) high and the same width, at pouring speeds of up to 9.2 m per minute.


Source: Helen Wright /

]]> Wed, 22 Jan 2014 05:15:46 -0600 US: 2014 8 per cent Cement growth propelled by construction Ed Sullivan, PCA chief economist, speaks at World of Concrete 2014.

With U.S. residential, non-residential and public construction sectors “all beating positive,” PCA chief economist Ed Sullivan said cement consumption will grow 8 percent in 2014.

Speaking at World of Concrete 2014 in Las Vegas, Sullivan said his forecast is based upon the loosening of credit availability, steady and increasing job creation and decreasing consumer debt burdens.

“At no time in our history has there been this level of pent up demand,” Sullivan said.

According to Sullivan, non-residential and residential will continue upward gains for the next three years, with new housing starts seeing the most activity due to old properties no longer being a market strength. “Housing affordability levels are still extremely favorable and mortgage lending standards are starting to ease,” Sullivan said. “Housing starts increased 18 percent last year and will be 18 percent this year, plus double digit gains will continue through 2015. Even with all that growth, we’re not near our previous levels.”

Sullivan forecasts gains in housing from now through 2018, where the market will finally rest at 80 percent recovery from 2009’s levels.  However, the gains will not always be monumental. “We will not get back to our historical averages, in fact we might never get back to where we are 10 years ago, but there will be increases.”

Also for 2014, Sullivan said public construction will ramp up – but not entirely from the federal level. State and local governments, Sullivan said, will start to pay attention to neglected areas such as roads, bridges and other infrastructure.

Lastly, PCA also said it no longer will be known as the full Portland Cement Association moniker. “There was confusion in the market among those unfamiliar with the industry as to what ‘Portland’ referred to, and many thought we were a regional organization,” said Gregory Scott, president and CEO of PCA. The organization will be known as “PCA,” with the tagline “America’s Cement Manufacturers.”

Portland cement is one of the most common types of cement in general use around the world and is used as a basic ingredient of concrete, mortar, stucco, and most non-specialty grout.


Source: Lindsey Anderson/

]]> Wed, 22 Jan 2014 04:03:28 -0600 Power Africa Draws New Investment to Region Millenium Challenge Energy Partnerships

Washington — The U.S. initiative that aims to double access to electricity in sub-Saharan Africa has drawn new investments to the fast-growing region, according to representatives of three key agencies that support the project.

“We are seeing developers investing for the first time in power in emerging markets. We’re seeing developers we’ve never seen before. We are also seeing with the private sector in Africa an opportunity to partner with American companies,” said Mimi Alemayehou of the U.S. Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC). OPIC mobilizes private capital to help solve critical challenges in developing countries.

Alemayehou, Andrew Herscowitz of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and Kamran Khan of the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) provided an update on Power Africa on January 15 at the Center for Global Development, a Washington think tank.

President Obama announced the Power Africa initiative in June 2013. Through a public-private approach, Power Africa wants to increase generation capacity by about 10,000 megawatts in six partner countries with the objective of increasing access to electricity for 20 million people, improving reliability and reducing costs for African businesses.

OPIC has committed $1.5 billion to Power Africa for its first five years, Alemayehou said, and MCC has committed around $1 billion to the initiative, according to Khan. USAID will provide $285 million in technical assistance, grants and risk mitigation to assist private-sector energy transactions and help governments adopt policy and regulatory reforms to attract private investment.

The partner countries — Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria and Tanzania — and others in Africa have identified energy insecurity as a binding constraint to economic growth, said Ben Leo of the Center for Global Development. Alemayehou said that with a combined population of 800 million people, the countries of sub-Saharan Africa use the same power capacity as does Spain, with a population of 45 million.

Power Africa is intended to bridge the gap between Africa’s power shortage and its economic potential by working with U.S., international and African businesses and governments to develop newly discovered resources responsibly, increase power generation and transmission capabilities, and expand the reach of minigrid and off-grid systems.

One example is a partnership in which U.S. and Icelandic businesses have joined to build 1,000 megawatts of geothermal generation capacity, Alemayehou said.

Power Investments

She also said that investments in Africa’s power could add as much as two percentage points to the region’s already strong growth rate and create jobs. The World Bank reports that sub-Saharan Africa’s combined economies are expected to grow 5.3 percent in 2014.

Herscowitz, who is based in Power Africa’s office in Nairobi, credits the initial success of the project with having specialists in the region that can help partners put together deals and strong interagency collaboration. He said Power Africa is building relationships with the World Bank, the European Union and the African Development Bank.

Alemayehou said Power Africa is encouraging countries to continue reforming their power sectors. “They want to be part of Power Africa,” she said.

Source: Kathryn McConnell | IPP Digital


]]> Sun, 19 Jan 2014 11:26:33 -0600 Ghana: Plans to extend local content policy to power sector Power Supply

The Ghana government will extend the local content policy to the power sub-sector to encourage more local participation, the Minister of Energy and Petroleum, Mr Armah Kofi-Buah, has disclosed. According to him, the move is to ensure that Ghanaians and indigenous businesses participated in power generation, construction works and allied services to encourage transfer of skills and prevent capital flight.

Mr Kofi-Buah, who announced that at an end-of-year meeting with journalists, said the policy drafting consultations were already taking place, with a caravan visiting regions to take inputs, as was the case of the Local Content and Local Participation Policy in the petroleum sector.

The minister said the petroleum sector’s Local Content Policy was so far going well and receiving support from oil-producing partners and should, therefore, be extended to the power sector because it constitutes a large chunk of the energy sector. “The support we have received from the upstream is an example and a leverage for us. We want to extend it to other sectors once we agree on a timetable with our partners there,” Mr Kofi-Buah said.

The power sector is large, comprising generation, transmission and distribution that attract a lot of investments. Currently, the Energy Ministry is implementing the Ghana Energy Development Programme (GEDAP), a multi-million dollar programme to revamp the distribution infrastructure of the sub-sector.

To facilitate such a huge outflow into the sector, the government deems it appropriate to encourage local participation for skills transfer and retention of funds in the local economy.

The 2014 budget, for instance, envisages a spending envelope of GH¢1.34 billion for the entire energy sector, out of which GH¢72.73 million will come from the government, GH¢430.95 million from the Annual Budget Funding Amount (proceeds from oil), with GH¢837.23 million coming from development partners.

The energy minister said in line with the government’s effort to achieve universal access to electricity by 2016, a total of 1,566 communities would be connected to the national grid to close the gap from 75 per cent access to 80 per cent. Last year, more than 1,000 such communities were connected to the grid under the Rural Electrification Project.

Mr Kofi-Buah is hopeful that once electricity tariffs are being scaled up, it would attract investors to add to the generation capacity which is expected to reach 5,000 megawatts by 2016, saying; “when we get the tariffs right, we will get investors to come in.” Some management and operational functions of the Electricity Company of Ghana would also be decentralised.

This would, for instance, ensure audit of electricity losses under a district or region and not account for losses as a wholesale phenomenon.

Source: Daily Graphic 

]]> Wed, 01 Jan 2014 10:00:53 -0600,666_to_fund_two_health_projects Ghana: Japan provides USD 242,666 to fund two health projects Dr Genevieve Insaidoo and Mr Shigeru Hamano signing the grant contract

The Japanese government through Japan’s Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects (GGHSP) has provided an amount of $242,666 for the implementation of two health projects in Ghana.

About US$120,00 of the total amount had been awarded to the  Centre for Pregnancy and Childbirth Education (CePeCE) to procure two neonatal ventilators and their accessories for the paediatric unit of the 37 Military Hospital.

The Needy Club of Ghana also received US $121,940 for the construction of a Community Health-Based Services (CHPS) compound consisting of a clinic and staff quarters for the people of Aneta-Yordanu community in the Volta Region which currently has no health facility.

Signing the grant agreement on behalf of the Japanese government, Shigeru Hamano of the Embassy of Japan, acknowledged the importance of affordability and accessibility of health care services to the development of the country.

He said there was an urgent need for government to prioritize universal health coverage in its development agenda especially if the country would achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

Mr Hamano, therefore, noted that the Japanese government saw the need for quality health care service, and that was what informed their decision to support the two projects which was critical to the attainment of the universal health coverage in the country.

“We will continue to make our contribution towards ensuring improved health coverage to meet the growing demand for quality health care particularly for mothers and babies,” he said.

He, thus, encouraged the two implementing organizations to ensure the completion and the maintenance of the project so that other generations could benefit from it.

Dr Genevieve Insaidoo, Project Director for CePeCE, noted that the intervention by the Japanese government would help reduce the staggering neonatal deaths in the country.

“Our beneficiary hospital has also assured their commitment towards effective usage and maintenance of the equipment,” she said.

The Chief Executive of the Needy Club, Apostle Killians Kwame Carr, said the gesture from the Japanese government would help improve access to health care considering the fact that the only existing health facility in the North Dayi District had only one doctor, a situation which puts pressure on the hospital and its staff, thereby, making health delivery difficult to access.

“We promise to work with the assembly and other authorities to ensure this project is executed before schedule and well supervised to bring the best to our people.”

By Jamila Akweley Okertchiri

]]>,666_to_fund_two_health_projects Wed, 01 Jan 2014 09:46:08 -0600 Ghana: Demand for electricity hits 12 per cent high Electricity PylonsDemand for electricity in Ghana increased to an all-time high of 12.38 per cent in 2013,  growing from the 2012 peak of 1,728.9 Megawatts (MW) to 1,942.9MW at the close of last year.

Over the last four years, however, the average year–to-year growth in demand for electricity has been 9.67 per cent,  the Chief Executive of the Ghana Grid Company Limited (GRIDCo), Mr William Amuna, said in an interview.

The peak demand for 2011 was 1,664.3MW, a 10.52 percentage growth over the 2010 demand of 1,505.9MW. The acute shortfall in generation in 2012, as a result of the rapture of the West African Gas Pipeline, resulted in a demand growth of 3.88 per cent. He said the construction of new substations and the upgrade of existing substations in the last four years had resulted in a 55 per cent increase in transformer capacity from 2200 MVA to 3400 MVA, and the addition of over 200km of 330kV high voltage transmission lines.

These investments in the transmission network have relieved the system of its bottlenecks and ensured quality supply to consumers. Growing demand Mr Amuna said demand was growing and current projections indicated that the country’s requirements for electricity would hit 2,764.2MW in 2015.

“This increasing demand for electricity is being matched with new generation supported by the government through the Ministry of Energy, the Volta River Authority and some Independent Power Producers (IPPs),” he added.


He said GRIDCo had held several discussions with new power producers with the view to putting in new substations and additional transmission lines to transport power, adding that preparatory works were already on-going The GRIDco chief executive said to help evacuate power from emerging generation plants, the GRIDCo Substation in Aboadze would be expanded and a new 330kV double circuit transmission line would be constructed from the substation to Kumasi through Prestea. 

This transmission line will continue as a single circuit line to Bolgatanga through Kintampo and Tamale. New 330kV substations will also be built in Kumasi, Kintampo, Tamale and Bolgatanga. Mr Amuna assured the nation that GRIDCo was working hard to develop a robust and resilient transmission system that would continue to transport quality electrical power to customers in 2014 and beyond.

Source: Daily Graphic 


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