Women are making an invaluable contribution to the power and water industries as reflected by the many ladies amongst the winners of the 2017 African Utility Week Industry Awards that were announced at the CTICC in Cape Town last week. Three of the awards, namely Lifetime Achievement, Outstanding Contribution to Power as well as Young Energy Leader Award, were won by women. More than 750 top level power and water professionals attended the fourth edition of the African Utility Week Industry Awards gala dinner which honour pioneering utilities, projects and people in the energy and water industry on the continent. Former South African President Nelson Mandela’s personal assistant, Zelda la Grange, delivered an inspiring guest keynote address with charming anecdotes of working with and for the legendary anti-apartheid activist and politician. The complete list of winners of the African Utility Week Industry Awards: Lifetime achievement award winner: Helen Tarnoy, Co-Founder & Managing Director, Aldwych International Ltd, United Kingdom, an engineering company that has been involved in some of the most successful independent power projects on the African continent. “I first went to Africa in 1998 and I have never left; so I have almost 20 years of working in the independent power sector in Africa,” Helen said in a pre-recorded video acceptance speech. “I won’t say that it wasn’t a struggle in the beginning, it was. There was a lot of education to be done about how private companies could contribute to the economies of the countries in which they were working by providing sustainable power at an affordable price. That is still what we aim to do today. The difference today is that we are seeing more and more people coming into the market.” Helen has been a passionate devotee to the African power market since her first contact with it in the mid-1990s. Her first major success was to lead the recovery and eventual success of the Songas Gas to Power . . .
Six months of Trump, de-risking renewable energy investments and country project pipelines are just some of the key sessions during the upcoming African Power Finance & Investment Forum that is part of the African Utility Week conference and expo at the CTICC in Cape Town from 16-18 May. Says African Utility Week event director Evan Schiff: “we developed the African Power Finance & Investment Forum in response to a strong demand from investors and project leaders, to provide a unique insider's perspective on the outlook for African energy. The forum will feature expert speakers who will identify the key trends impacting project finance in regional energy markets with updates on and insights into market opportunities, sources of capital, financing instruments and access to project finance.” Some of the leading speakers and sessions at African Power Finance & Investment Forum: African utilities in an upside down world: Dr Jerome Booth, leading expert investor in emerging markets, author of ‘Emerging Markets in an Upside Down World’; Chairman of New Sparta Asset Management; co-founder of Ashmore, UK: “I shall be talking about the failure of finance theory, which has led to massive distortion in risk perceptions and asset allocation globally. This has impeded capital flow to private markets in Africa, to the detriment of both African economies and global savers”. The big three: Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana: Gavin Serkin, Managing Editor, Frontier Funds Consultancy, author of ‘Frontier: Exploring the Top Ten Emerging Markets of Tomorrow’, UK: “When you compare against the UK and US, most of Africa is doing the right thing! It’s all relative. The biggest opportunities occur where there is opportunity to scale access by consumers to services taken for granted by the rest of the world, and in this respect nowhere comes close to Nigeria.” Courting Capital: All investment dollars are not created equal - Subha Nagarajan, Managing Director for Africa, OPIC, . . .
“I believe the energy sector will go through a big transformation that is going to surprise all of us and the energy sector will finally become ‘cool’!,” says Brian G. Williams, Industry Advisory Director, Utilities Industry, SAP EMEA. The global software giant has joined African Utility Week as a gold sponsor at the conference and exhibition that is taking place from 16-18 May in Cape Town. Brian is a featured speaker in the Transmission & Distribution conference track focusing on “Digital Transformation: What impact will the Internet of Things have on utilities?” Says Brian Williams: “the SAP Africa message at African Utility Week will be that organisations need to focus on becoming a relevant digital utility of the future. SAP will focus on how new technology and big data can be used to significantly improve efficiencies and how the performance of utilities Infrastructure can be optimised, to prolong the asset life span, maximise energy production, minimise downtime and reduce maintenance cost.” He adds: “SAP is investing in all Energy & Natural Resource Industries (utilities, oil & gas, mill & mining & chemicals) and in all African regions (South Africa, Sub-Saharan, Lusophone, North Africa, East and West Africa). We have studied the full map of the 53 African countries where we have identified the regions of high, medium and lower opportunities for transformation in each of the four industries. For instance, in utilities we considered that all countries are potentially capable to transform and use the power of digital, to improve their energy value chain, because every country has an electricity, gas or water champion.” More than 4,500 utility companies in 123 countries are innovating with SAP Solutions. Forty-five of the top 50 utility companies in the world run SAP solutions. Award-winning energy platform The 17th annual African Utility Week will gather over 7000 decision makers from more than 80 countries to source the . . .
This year’s African Utility Week Industry Awards in Cape Town on 17 May will have a distinctly feminine feel with an all women cast and a strong line-up of ladies amongst the finalists for the coveted awards for leading energy and water professionals. Former South African President Nelson Mandela’s personal assistant, Zelda la Grange, is this year’s guest speaker at the awards. She currently serves as the Patron for the First for Women Foundation, is non-executive Director of the non-profit organisation Healing Hands and annually acts as a co-ordinator of Bikers for Mandela Day. The MC for the African Utility Week Industry Awards is Claire Mawisa, well-known media personality, broadcaster and Carte Blanche investigative journalist. Women are also well represented amongst the award finalists and this year four ladies grace the shortlist for the Lifetime Achievement Award. Huawei, the well-known global information and telecommunication giant, is the lead sponsor for the African Utility Week Industry Awards. List of finalists The fourth edition of the annual awards will once again honour pioneering utilities, projects and people in the energy and water industry on the continent. To reflect the evolution of the energy and water sectors, the following new categories are included this year: - Small-Scale Sustainable Energy Project (under 5MW) - Innovative Technology of the Year - Deal of the Year Lifetime Achievement Award - Azeb Asnake, Chief Executive Officer, Ethiopian Electric Power, Ethiopia - Barry MacColl, General Manager: Research, Testing & Development, Eskom, South Africa - Dale Robertson, President, Enerscan Consultants Ltd, Canada - Des Muller, Chairman, NIASA Supply Chain Development Sub-Committee, South Africa - H.E. Dr. Elham Mahmood Ahmed Ibrahim, Commissioner for Infrastructure & Energy, African Union Commission, Ethiopia - Fred Kabagambe-Kaliisa, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Energy & Mineral Development, Uganda - . . .
By participating in B2B meetings at the renowned South African international trade fair, SMEs in the water & power utility sector can benefit from EU support. This opportunity will help them expand their businesses abroad. The next Business Beyond Borders business connections event will take place in Cape Town (South Africa) at African Utility Week (AUW), a leading water and power utility trade fair, in May 2017. Business Beyond Borders (BBB) is a European Commission initiative to help EU businesses, in particular Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and Clusters, operate internationally with the ultimate goal of increasing economic growth within and outside Europe. A series of business connections events are being organised to bring together SMEs and representatives from relevant clusters, with potential trading partners from Europe and abroad with the aim of assisting businesses to access new international markets. After a first successful business connections session at the Genera fair, which took place in the beginning of March in Madrid, BBB turns its attention to the biggest trade fair on the African continent. Hosting thousands of visitors each other, AUW is known for a strong representation of EU companies at the event, hosting national pavilions for Denmark, the Netherlands, Germany, France, Belgium and Czech Republic. Welcoming the upcoming BBB event, Commissioner Karmenu Vella said “By helping EU green SMEs operate internationally and by promoting green partnerships in target sectors, this Business Beyond Borders (BBB) business connections event at African Utility Week will help preserve our natural resources, promote clean energy and drive growth through a circular economy.” Thanks to the large network of partners and support entities, a unique package is being made available to businesses across the world in the water and power utility sector wishing to take part in AUW as members of the Business Beyond Borders delegation: . . .
A new World Bank study presents a sobering assessment of the financial health of electricity utilities in Sub-Saharan Africa, and suggests how utilities can be profitable while extending affordable services for the poor. “A central but under-reported issue on the movement to reach universal access is the financial health of electricity utilities. Less than half of utilities cover operating expenditures while several countries lose in excess of US$0.25 per kWh sold. In this context, it will be difficult for utilities to maintain existing assets, let alone facilitate the expansion needed to reach universal access goals,” said Lucio Monari, Director, Energy and Extractive Global Practice at the World Bank. Mr Monari will address the Utility CEO Forum at the upcoming African Utility Week in Cape Town from 16-18 May and present results of a recent World Bank study: “Making Power Affordable for Africa and Viable for Its Utilities”. The study looked at utility financial statements and power tariffs in more than 40 countries, and spending data in household surveys for 22 countries. “It remains surprisingly difficult to get basic bread-and-butter data such as tariff schedules, operational performance data, and financial statements. We focused heavily on raw data collection directly from Sub-Saharan utilities. This study’s strength is that it distils lessons from dozens of countries. We hope it will help make Africa’s power sector financially sustainable and advance the goal of universal access to electricity,” Mr Monari explained. Key messages from the report suggest several ways of recovering the cost of supply and making electricity affordable: One third of countries may become financially viable through improving operational efficiency. It is almost certain that increasing tariffs will be needed in the remaining two-thirds of the countries studied. Individual meters in poor households can help utilities target cross-subsidies better. Installing . . .
The award-winning African Utility Week has welcomed back a longstanding supporter, the global energy giant Shell, who will be a platinum sponsor again at the conference and exhibition from 16-18 May in Cape Town. The 17th annual African Utility Week will gather over 7000 decision makers from more than 80 countries to source the latest solutions and meet over 300 suppliers. Along with multiple side events and numerous networking functions the event also boasts a five track conference with over 300 expert speakers. The conference programme will address the latest challenges, developments and opportunities in the power and water sectors: ranging from generation, T&D, metering, technology and water. “Choosing the right oil is essential” “We are delighted to return for the third time as a platinum sponsor for African Utility Week,” says Tendani Ndwamise, Shell Lubes Direct Sector B2B Marketer at Shell South Africa. She continues: “in addition to hosting a booth with experts from our global and local business, we are proud to announce Dr. Peter Smith as a speaker for the event. He has over thirty years’ experience in the development of lubricants for use in the sector and will talk about how choosing the right oil is essential in meeting the challenges of the industry, both now and in the future.” According to Tendani the main challenges currently in the industry are: ”providing sustainable power supply to the population, with aging infrastructure. This in turn leads to the challenge of lowering costs to produce, distribute and transmit power for our customers. Shell aims to help its customers with sustainable lower total cost of ownership of their assets, through Shell’s sector expertise and industry knowledge in addition to our technology-leading products.” She adds: “In the last five years, Shell has launched two new ranges of products for the power sector – Shell Diala S4 for use in transformers and Shell Turbo S4, our premium turbine oil range. . . .
South Africa’s National Water Week kicks off on Monday, 20 March while globally World Water Day is celebrated on Wednesday, 22 March. In the informal settlement of Langrug in Franschhoek, an innovative wastewater treatment project is changing the lives of the community for the better while reversing the effects of water pollution in the Berg River. “The only way to stay healthy is to work hand in hand with each other and with Genius of Space, since they are trying to change our lives in the community,” says Vumile William Dlova, who is working as a flow agent in the Biomimicry Genius of Space project. He adds: “This system changed the community because our children are now playing in a clean, dry place with no dirty water running between houses. There are no more flies around. We are living in a healthy environment.” Although water and sanitation are generally available in Langrug informal settlement, these services are limited and have led to the disposal of wastewater and solid waste throughout the settlement, causing a health hazard and flowing into storm water drains and ultimately into the Berg River and polluting it. The Genius of Space system gives Langrug residents the opportunity to dispose of their grey water in disposal drums where it is filtered. The water then flows into a system of underground pipes into tree gardens were it gets treated. Some 500 Langrug residents are currently using the 27 disposal points in the settlement. During the upcoming African Utility Week in Cape Town in May, water conference delegates will attend a special site visit to the Genius of Space project at Langrug to see a successful project based on biomimicry principles in action. Biomimicry means the design and production of a system that is modelled on biological processes. Strong focus on all aspects of water As always, water management forms an important part of African Utility Week and this year the conference will focus on how private public . . .
Huawei, the well-known global information and telecommunication giant, has signed a platinum sponsorship with African Utility Week, the leading conference and trade exhibition for African power, energy and water professionals, taking place from 16-18 May 2017 in Cape Town. The company will also be the lead sponsor of the African Utility Week Industry Awards. Additionally, Huawei will host its 5th Huawei Power Summit, where Huawei will demonstrate its industry-leading solutions. This summit will be co-located at African Utility Week on 17 May from 14h00 – 18h00. The main theme for Huawei’s showcase this year is “Leading New ICT, The Road To Smart Grid” and will host its exhibition area in Auditorium 2. Mr. Jerry Ji (Xiang) is President of Energy Industry at Huawei’s Enterprise Business Group: “Huawei hopes that through Africa's most influential energy expo, we will better understand the needs of our customers and integrate Huawei's latest solutions and practices into smart grids to help the African power companies achieve safe, efficient operations and green sustainable development, and thus enriching lives in the era of energy intelligence.” “We have been honoured to have Huawei as a long-term partner with not only African Utility Week, but also our regional power shows on the continent,” says event director Evan Schiff, adding: “we are thrilled that they have chosen to expand their investment in the show, and we believe this is testament to the value we offer to our esteemed partners. We take our task of gathering the best in the industry to discuss the challenges, solutions and successes very seriously and as market leader, Huawei should be part of that conversation. We look forward to their contribution in May.” Real world doers share their expertise The 17th annual African Utility Week will gather over 7000 decision makers from more than 80 countries to source the latest solutions and meet over 300 suppliers. Along with multiple side events and . . .
Generating value and creating agility in the evolving business landscape of power and utilities With the firm’s goal to focus on ‘future proofing’ in an effort to prepare for both foreseeable and unforeseeable forces that are fundamentally changing the power and utilities industry, KPMG has taken up a diamond sponsorship opportunity at the 2017 African Utility Week. This is part of the firm’s strategy to execute their mastery from an advisory perspective. Apart from the wealth of knowledge that the firm has to offer to African Utility Week’s attendees, KPMG looks forward to exercising their commitment to helping organisations with robust, sustainable and flexible strategies, in addition to models that can adapt quickly in a dynamically unfolding future. When KPMG’s experts were asked about the biggest challenges currently engulfing the sector, the first issue that they outlined was that energy security remains elusive on the African continent. The International Energy Agency (IEA) estimates that two out of three people in sub-Saharan Africa do not have access to electricity. This translates into 620 million people on the continent without electricity – and for those that have – the supply is unreliable and very expensive compared to world standards. “There is an emerging trend in the sector. Utility-scale developments are decreasing, while we see a lot more of community-sized generation projects. Businesses and communities are also showing interest in becoming less dependent on the national grids. In rural Africa, especially, the economics of expanding the national grids do not make sense, hence there is a significant trend towards mini-grids and other off-grid solutions,” says Ahmed Jaffer, Chairman of KPMG in South Africa and the Head of Power and Utilities. De Buys Scott, Senior Partner in Deal Advisory and Head of Infrastructure Advisory at KPMG in South Africa, adds that gravitating towards off-grid and smaller solutions in terms generation . . .