15 Mar

The Russian Carbon Fund, Aera Group pioneer the first worldwide carbon credit transaction using blockchain technology in DAO IPCI

Aera Group and the Russian Carbon Fund also announced a partnership to provide Russian buyers with direct and long term access to high quality African carbon credits

PARIS, France, March 14, 2017/APO/ —

  • Pilot transaction was executed on Tuesday, March 14, 2017 at 8:00 am (UTC+1:00) between the Russian Carbon Fund on the buying side and Aera Group, the largest supplier of African carbon credits, on the selling side in the DAO IPCI blockchain ecosystem with IT support of Airlab.
  • The Verified Carbon Units acquired by Russian Carbon Fund are intended to offset carbon footprint in Russia and internationally, by airline passengers, in particular.
  • Transaction rewards 1 year of blockchain application for carbon markets development undertaken by DAO IPCI team of blockchain and environmental markets experts.
  • The new CO2 exchange / blockchain platform will ensure more transparency, integrity and lower transaction costs for buyers and sellers of carbon credits and other environmental mitigation outcomes.
  • DAO IPCI has and ongoing working relationship with Backer McKenzie on the structure of the CO2 blockchain platform and transactions on the CO2 blockchain.
  • The initiative aims at raising and catalyzing pre-compliance and voluntary CO2 offsets demand and support the emergence of a Russian carbon market.
  • Russia is close to ratification the Paris Agreement and hopefully shall work on ambitious targets to reduce CO2 emissions under the Agreement, and corporates can offset their emissions and reach carbon neutrality thanks to carbon credits.
  • Aera Group and the Russian Carbon Fund also announced a partnership to provide Russian buyers with direct and long term access to high quality African carbon credits.

Anton Galenovich, Chairman of the Council of the Russian Carbon Fund:The platform developers’ idea is to provide common space for fair competition, provide early crediting, offsetting carbon footprint opportunities for the companies, and break the barriers dividing locations and types of high quality mitigation outcomes. Russian market mechanisms are in the trial pilot phase and may have significant offsetting capacity on the supply and the demand side in near future. Russian carbon credits developed and assured under strict requirements of the Integrated Program for Climate Initiatives are still under verification process to be issued in DAO IPCI ecosystem”.

Alexey Shadrin, CEO and Founder of the Russian Carbon Fund: “We have just witnessed a truly historical moment for the global low carbon economy – the first ever blockchain based climate deal. I am sure that our successful joint effort will mark the beginning of a new era of climate cooperation between nations and help the world reach sustainable development goals”. 

Fabrice Le Saché, Aera Group Executive Chairman:We strongly believe that Russia will become a key player of the international climate transition in the years to come. Beyond environment, this is a matter of economic competition and performance as it drives innovation. We are pleased to pioneer a market and a technology at same time. We expect to connect Russian corporates with charismatic African CO2 offset projects yielding mitigation and adaptation benefits”.

Max Gutbrod, Partner at Baker McKenzie: “Blockchain technology is ideal to increase transparency in carbon markets; we are therefore pleased and honored to be acquainted with Blockchain Ecosystem and looking forward to further contribute it to reach its global potential”.

Ivan Panov, partner at Causa Privata Law Firm: “We have seen a huge number of transactions and projects involving carbon markets and carbon credits. But this particular project is literally a pioneer, for it is based on the technology and approaches which have been never used before. This may become a real breakthrough solution for the implementation of climate projects and their financing”. […]

Read the full story here: APO

15 Mar

ECA to launch 2nd generation Country Profiles at upcoming African Development Week

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, March 14, 2017/APO/ —

The Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) will launch the second generation of its ECA Country Profiles on Saturday 25 March on the margins of the African Development Week (Dakar, 23 – 28 March 2017).

Twenty one country reports will be released, covering Algeria, Angola, Burundi, Cape Verde, Chad, Central African Republic, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, The Gambia, Ghana, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mauritania, Mozambique, Nigeria, Somalia, South Africa Swaziland and Tunisia.

Each of these reports will provide a detailed stock take of the countries’ economic and social situation as well as their performance in areas such as regional integration or the fight against exclusion.

Distributed by APO on behalf of United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA).

14 Mar

Johnson & Johnson Names Winners of First Africa Innovation Challenge

Competition Part of Company’s Eighty-Five Year Commitment to Supporting Entrepreneurs, Science Education Opportunities, and Health Systems across the Continent

CAPE TOWN, South Africa, March 14, 2017/APO/ —

Johnson & Johnson  today named the winners of the first Africa Innovation Challenge at the Global Entrepreneurship Congress. The initiative, which received nearly 500 submissions from innovators and entrepreneurs across the continent, sought the best ideas for new, sustainable health solutions that will benefit African communities. The Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies comprises the world’s largest healthcare business and its presence in Africa dates back to 1930, including business operations, public health programs and corporate citizenship. The Africa Innovation Challenge is part of the company’s comprehensive approach to collaborate with and support Africa’s vibrant innovation, education and health systems institutions.

In addition to the Africa Innovation Challenge winners, the company also announced today that it is a major partner of Women in Innovation and the Alliance for Accelerating Excellence in Science in Africa, programs that seek to substantially increase the number of women on the continent working in the sciences. These announcements follow the prior week’s opening of two new Johnson & Johnson regional offices in Ghana and Kenya, which along with our South Africa-based global public health headquarters, will support health system strengthening and public health programs.

“Africa is one of the fastest growing regions of the world, and Johnson & Johnson is proud to support this growth through strong collaborations that encourage innovation and accelerate advancements in the continent’s health systems,” said Paul Stoffels, M.D., Chief Scientific Officer, Johnson & Johnson. “We are seeing a surge of activity among entrepreneurs and health system leaders to develop important solutions that overcome longstanding health and societal challenges. By working together, we hope to bring meaningful solutions to patients and consumers more rapidly, to help cultivate the next generation of scientists, and to support Africa’s entrepreneurial base.”

Africa innovation challenge

The Africa Innovation Challenge, launched in November 2016, solicited novel ideas with a focus on three critical health areas: promoting early child development and maternal health; empowering young women; and improving family well-being. The three winning concepts embraced these themes as well as the goal of creating ongoing, sustainable businesses:

  • Project Agateka (Burundi) – The development of a sustainable solution to support girls who are unable to afford menstrual pads and underwear is an important need for young women. Project Agateka will provide a direct health solution as well as the opportunity for women and girls to generate income in Burundi. With the inclusion of health information, the initiative also provides health education to support improved sexual and reproductive health.
  • Project Kernel Fresh (Liberia) – Project Kernel Fresh sources natural palm kernels from smallholder women farmers, increasing their income. The entrepreneur cold presses the palm kernel oil to be used in organic cosmetics. The project will also create jobs for young women by training them to sell the products throughout Liberia.
  • Project Pedal Tap (Uganda) Seeking to prevent disease transmission, and a reduction of water use, Project Pedal Tap will develop hands-free solutions for hand water taps in Uganda. The entrepreneurs will create manufacturing capabilities, using mostly recycled materials, which will lead to an ongoing business.

“This was an extremely difficult competition to judge as there were many terrific ideas,” said Josh Ghaim, Chief Technology Officer, Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. “The three winning projects demonstrated a strong benefit to local communities and the ability to empower young women, and they also have the potential to deliver ongoing economic support. We look forward to working with these entrepreneurs over the course of the next year to help them build sustainable operations.”

Each of the three winning recipients will receive funding as well as mentorship from scientists, engineers, and operations members from the Johnson & Johnson Consumer Research & Development organization and other areas of the company. […]

Read the full article here: APO

 

13 Mar

It’s time for Eskom to show leadership when it comes to renewable energy

Since 2016, Eskom has refused to sign further contracts under the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP) which would put more renewable energy on the grid

CAPE TOWN, South Africa, March 10, 2017/APO/ —

Eskom’s on-going scapegoating of renewable energy as the reason behind its financial woes shows a lack of vision, particularly in the light of the urgent need to develop new jobs beyond the coal industry.

Instead, the utility should be leading the country into a greener, more equitable energy future which will help South Africa both create new, cleaner jobs and meet its international obligations to the Paris agreement, which is aimed at urgently limiting the most damaging aspects of climate change.

The transition of jobs from the coal industry has long been a critical area due to increasing levels of automation while the closure of ageing coal stations has been on the cards for years.

This week, in her report to the parliamentary portfolio committee, Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Browne once again cited cost as one of the reasons for Eskom’s reluctance to sign renewable energy agreements with independent power producers. However, she failed to sketch the bigger picture surrounding the decreasing price of renewable energy versus the rising environmental cost of coal.

These hidden costs are paid in human health, water pollution and long-term climate change – and more often than not the poorest in the country are most impacted by air pollution and will be hardest hit by climate change.

The government also has an important role to play in ensuring that the transition to a low carbon economy is equitable by assisting in skills development for the renewable industry and mandating that coal mines and plants have an end-of-life policy that ensures that such training is available for their workers.

The government also has an important role to play in ensuring that the transition to a low carbon economy is equitable by assisting in skills development for the renewable industry and mandating that coal mines and plants have an end-of-life policy that ensures that such training is available for their workers.

In terms of their agreements, the independent power producers (IPPs) are required to provide jobs and to share ownership with local communities, compared to the coal mines and power stations where no such requirement exists. As a consequence the IPPs have provided far better socio-economic development gains than the coal industry.

In another argument, Eskom has blamed renewable energy for creating excess capacity with consequent job losses in the coal trucking sector. The truth is that renewables at best currently make up only around 4% of the total energy mix – and the vast majority of our energy still comes from coal, with new coal stations adding to this capacity. Rather, the utility currently faces a cash flow crisis and needs to claw back losses due to mismanagement detailed in the Denton Report.

Finally, the Hendrina, Kriel, Komati, Grootvlei and Camden coal stations, which are set to close, are among the oldest, thirstiest, dirtiest and most costly of South Africa’s coal power stations. (Camden and Grootvlei were previously mothballed and then revived to deal with the 2008 electricity crisis). As aging coal plants reach retirement age, the most cost-effective replacement would be renewable energy.

Sign the Earth Hour Petition

As a consequence of Eskom’s continued reluctance to back renewable energy, WWF South Africa is asking South Africans to sign a petition to the utility as part of this year’s Earth Hour campaign.

Since 2016, Eskom has refused to sign further contracts under the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP) which would put more renewable energy on the grid. Instead, the utility is resolutely pursuing an electricity programme that relies heavily on coal and is actively promoting an unaffordably expensive and environmentally questionable nuclear build.

Ultimately, South Africa should be aiming for 100% of our energy to come from renewable sources if the country is to honour its climate action commitments to the Paris Agreement. Renewable energy will not only reduce carbon emissions, but can also be scaled up and deployed quickly to match the country’s need for energy – far quicker than large coal and nuclear new builds.

Some renewable energy can already supply cheaper electricity than the newest coal power plants. The cost gap will only increase in the future, with renewables getting cheaper and coal likely to get more expensive.

Dr Morné du Plessis, CEO of WWF South Africa, commented: “In order to avoid the extreme impacts of runaway climate change, we need to reduce our carbon emissions urgently by introducing more renewable energy into the energy mix. Yet, the bulk of South Africa’s carbon emissions come from electricity generated by fossil fuels such as coal and oil. This has to change.

“We know that Eskom has the power to unblock this hold-up, and thus enable all the socio-economic and environmental benefits that will result from the renewable energy programme. By signing this petition, South Africans will be calling on the utility to exercise this power for the greater good of all.”

We urge all supporters to visit the website at www.WWF.org.za/earthhour to sign the petition before Earth Hour which takes place on 25 March 2017 between 8.30pm and 9.30pm this year.

Distributed by APO on behalf of World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

13 Mar

GE’s Fuel-Flexible Power Plant Brings Vital Energy Boost to Ghana

Once operational, the 200 MW plant will be one of the most efficient power plants in the country and will generate the equivalent power needed to supply more than one million Ghanaian homes

ACCRA, Ghana, March 13, 2017/APO/ —

  • GE to Provide 200MW Turnkey Power Plant with Consortium Partner to Amandi Energy Limited in Aboadze, Ghana;
  • Tri-Fuel 9E.04 Gas Turbines From GE to Add Equivalent Power Needed to Supply More Than 1 Million Ghanaian Homes;
  • New Plant Will Help Ghana Tackle Energy Deficit.

GE, (NYSE: GE) the world’s premier digital industrial company, today announced the order of a 200MW combined-cycle power plant to be operated by Amandi Energy Ltd in Aboadze, Ghana. The plant will help to add reliable and efficient capacity to the grid to tackle Ghana’s increasing demand for power. The plant’s construction will be overseen by Metka, a leading international engineering contractor.

This turnkey plant will be powered by GE’s 9E.04 gas turbine  with tri-fuel capabilities. Initially fueled by light crude oil, the switch will be made to indigenous gas from Ghana’s offshore Sankofa natural gas field once available.

“GE’s fuel capabilities are unmatched. Having a turbine that is able to switch between fuels can provide increased plant operability allowing for power generation months before the indigenous gas supply would otherwise be available,” said Boaz Lavi, GM for Amandi Energy Ltd, Ghana. “This is crucial in helping Ghana meet its growing power needs.”

GE will also provide the steam turbine, heat recovery steam generator (HRSG), associated balance of plant, and 7-year CSA. Once operational, the 200 MW plant will be one of the most efficient power plants in the country and will generate the equivalent power needed to supply more than one million Ghanaian homes.

“Our customers have complex fuel needs, and this project illustrates the breadth of solutions we are able to deliver to meet their expectations,” said Leslie Nelson, GM Gas Power Systems at GE Power in Sub-Saharan Africa, “We are pleased that our strong regional presence allows us to get power to our customers, like Amandi Energy, quickly and efficiently.”

The rugged 9E can burn more than 50 types of fuels and can switch between natural gas, distillate and heavy fuel oil while operating under full load. GE’s 9E.04 has multiple features that help reduce fuel costs and increase revenue, such as a 145 MW output and 37 percent efficiency in simple-cycle. GE has more than 3,000 E-class turbines installed throughout the world with 143 million combined operating hours.

GE works with the government, corporate customers and other stakeholders in Ghana to support economic growth through infrastructure development in the power, healthcare and transport sectors. In 2014, GE opened a 200-capacity permanent office in Accra, and now has over 80 employees – 95% of which are Ghanaians.

Distributed by APO on behalf of GE.

10 Mar

Aiteo emerges Nigeria’s leading oil & gas company with record 90kpod output in 1 year

The company is confident that its significant gas resources at OML 29 will transform the country’s oil rich Niger Delta region into a power generation hub of repute before long

LAGOS, Nigeria, March 10, 2017/APO/ —

Integrated energy group Aiteo has announced a peak production of 90kpod just one year after its acquisition of sub-Sharan Africa’s reputedly largest onshore oil bloc OML 29.

Aiteo acquired OML 29 in September, 2015 when oil major Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) fully exited the facility. At the time of the divestment, average production was 23Kbpod. But Aiteo, one of the frontline sponsors of the justconcluded 16th Oil and Gas (NOG) Conference held in the country’s capital Abuja, says it has tripled this figure leveraging the diversity and skills of its work force and bona fides as a dynamic international energy conglomerate.

Its CEO and Vice Chairman Benedict Peters said the company grew production from 23kbbl/d upon takeover of operations to a peak of 90Kbbl/d in one year. He also highlighted several existing and developing projects that could potentially grow Aiteo’s asset production to over 150 kbopd and 200mmscf/d. He said: “Our outlook is bright with 3 producing oil fields and viable crude exports via Bonny terminal. We also have contingent resources to appraise and prospective ones to explore in the medium-to-long term, including full 3D coverage and 2P NNS reserves at 1.6bn bbl. Put simply, we have a clear vision for the future with the experience and assets crucial to providing oil and gas consistently on a regional and global scale.”

Aiteo’s ambitious five-year objectives include tackling the power challenges in Nigeria head-on through its legacy investments in the gas-to-power value chain. “This is a testament to our commitment to the transformation of the entire oil & gas value chain into a world-class landscape,” Peters added.

The company’s main subsidiary Aiteo Eastern E&P is also a major infrastructure provider for Nigeria’s oil industry as the operator of the 97km Nembe Creek Trunk Line, an industry-wide evacuation pipeline for produced fluids covering much of the country’s Eastern Delta region.

Aiteo’s Group Managing Director Mr. Chike Onyejekwe said: “Our growth drivers remain strong leadership, high commitment and motivation, technical and commercial excellence and superior asset base. In the next five years, our operations will continue to be guided by these qualities as we leverage our capabilities comparable to oil majors elsewhere in the world. Indeed, the future is Aiteo.”

In the interim, Aiteo says it is developing a pipeline of power generation projects across Nigeria. The company is confident that its significant gas resources at OML 29 will transform the country’s oil rich Niger Delta region into a power generation hub of repute before long.

Distributed by APO on behalf of Aiteo Group.

02 Mar

President Zuma to Officially Launch Invest South Africa One Stop Shop

The aim of Invest SA OSS is to provide strategic guidance, reduce regulatory inefficiencies, and reduce red tape for all investors looking to invest in South Africa

The President of the Republic of South Africa, Mr Jacob Zuma will officially launch the Invest South Africa One Stop Shop (Invest SA OSS) on Friday, 17 March 2017 in Pretoria. The aim of Invest SA OSS is to provide strategic guidance, reduce regulatory inefficiencies, and reduce red tape for all investors looking to invest in South Africa.

The Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Rob Davies says the OSS will be the focal point of contact in government for all investors. He adds that it will significantly shorten and simplify administrative procedures, and guidelines for the issuance of business approvals, permits and licences, thereby removing bottlenecks faced by investors in establishing and running businesses in the country.

“South Africa is one of the most sophisticated, diverse and promising emerging markets globally. Government is committed to ensuring ease of investment in the country by cutting red tape and by making South Africa a more business-friendly destination for investors,” says Davies.

According to Minister Davies, South Africa has investment opportunities abound in all sectors of the economy. He says a host of investment incentives and industrial financing interventions that are aimed at encouraging commercial activity and trade rules, favour a further expansion in South Africa’s burgeoning levels of international trade.

“The Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) aims to increase South Africa’s export capacity as well as support direct investment flows. As a department, we have recognised that the OSS has the potential to boost investment in South Africa, and will work to encourage beneficial environments for investors and exporters via investor-friendly policies and incentives,” says Davies.

He adds that the OSS will further serve to co-ordinate Provincial OSS investment centres incorporating the special economic zones, provincial investment agencies, local authorities and the relevant government departments involved in regulatory, registration, permits and licensing matters.

The Invest SA OSS is a government programme to prioritise and promote investment in South Africa. Invest SA One Stop Shop will be housed on the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti) Campus in Pretoria.

Distributed by APO on behalf of The Department of Trade and Industry, South Africa.