Solar auction in Zambia awards 73MW of PV projects
France’s Neoen S.A.S., Italy’s Enel S.A. and US-based First Solar Inc. have been awarded contracts to develop two photovoltaic projects, totalling 73MW, in Zambia. The resulting solar power will be the cheapest in Africa.
On Monday, Neoen and First Solar jointly bid to produce solar power at only 6.02 cents per kilowatt hour. Together, the two companies will construct a 45MW capacity power plant.
Enel will provide power from its own 28MW facility for 7.84 cents per kilowatt hour.
The auction was organised by Scaling Solar, a World Bank programme which removes financial obstacles to large-scale solar power in developing nations.
Currently, just one-fifth of the Zambian population has access to electricity and an ongoing drought has severely impacted the production capacity of the country’s existing hydropower facilities.
The tender was run by the International Finance Corporation, a member of the World Bank Group, and received seven final proposals from solar developers.
“These are the lowest solar power tariffs seen to date in Africa, and among the lowest prices for solar power anywhere in the world — a game changer for Zambia and other countries in the region facing electricity shortages,” said Philippe Le Houerou, IFC’s Chief Executive Officer and Executive Vice President.
The new projects in Zambia will be built over the course of the next year, and will boost the country’s available generating capacity by five percent — helping to restore water levels in its dams.
Madagascar and Senegal have also signed up to run Scaling Solar auctions of their own, which are expected to move into prequalification in the next few months.
Trafigura and Yara International explore clean ammonia usage
Reducing shipping emissions is a vital component of the fight against global climate change, yet Greenhouse Gas emissions from the global maritime sector are increasing - and at odds with the IMO's strategy to cut absolute emissions by at least 50% by 2050.
How more than 70,000 ships can decrease their reliance on carbon-based sources is one of transport's most pressing decarbonisation challenges.
Yara and Trafigura intend to collaborate on initiatives that will establish themselves in the clean ammonia value chain. Under the MoU announced today, Trafigura and Yara intend to work together in the following areas:
- The supply of clean ammonia by Yara to Trafigura Group companies
- Exploration of joint R&D initiatives for clean ammonia application as a marine fuel
- Development of new clean ammonia assets including marine fuel infrastructure and market opportunities
Magnus Krogh Ankarstrand, President of Yara Clean Ammonia, said the agreement is a good example of cross-industry collaboration to develop and promote zero-emission fuel in the form of clean ammonia for the shipping industry. "Building clean ammonia value chains is critical to facilitate the transition to zero emission fuels by enabling the hydrogen economy – not least within trade and distribution where both Yara and Trafigura have leading capabilities. Demand and supply of clean ammonia need to be developed in tandem," he said.
There is a growing consensus that hydrogen-based fuels will ultimately be the shipping fuels of the future, but clear and comprehensive regulation is essential, according to Jose Maria Larocca, Executive Director and Co-Head of Oil Trading for Trafigura.
Ammonia has a number of properties that require "further investigation," according to Wartsila. "It ignites and burns poorly compared to other fuels and is toxic and corrosive, making safe handling and storage important. Burning ammonia could also lead to higher NOx emissions unless controlled either by aftertreatment or by optimising the combustion process," it notes.
Trafigura has co-sponsored the R&D of MAN Energy Solutions’ ammonia-fuelled engine for maritime vessels, has performed in-depth studies of transport fuels with reduced greenhouse gas emissions, and has published a white paper on the need for a global carbon levy for shipping fuels to be introduced by International Maritime Organization.
Oslo-based Yara produces roughly 8.5 million tonnes of ammonia annually and employs a fleet of 11 ammonia carriers, including 5 fully owned ships, and owns 18 marine ammonia terminals with 580 kt of storage capacity – enabling it to produce and deliver ammonia across the globe.
It recently established a new clean ammonia unit to capture growth opportunities in emission-free fuel for shipping and power, carbon-free fertilizer and ammonia for industrial applications.