- GE to Invest $2bn in Skills Training, Facility Development in Africa
The President and Chief Executive Officer of General ElecGE Nigeria, Dr. Lazarus Angbazo, has stated that the multinational conglomerate has committed to invest a total of $2 billion in facility development, skills training, and sustainability initiatives across Africa by 2018.
Speaking on a recent collaboration between his company and Dangote Cement Plc on an in-country repair of one of Dangote’s GE LM6000 aero-derivative gas engines, Angbazo also revealed that the feat is the first time such a complex and delicate repair project was executed in Nigeria and only the second instance in sub-Saharan Africa.
GE said in a statement that when Dangote Cement reported that the turbine which contributes about 47MW had developed a fault “GE proposed to repair the LM6000 engine in Nigeria, leveraging its worldwide network in order to assemble the people, parts and tools needed to undertake this skilled and delicate work.”
According to the statement, GE assembled a crack team of engineers made up of a Nigerian team led by Nwabueze Adiuku from GE Service shop in Port Harcourt, alongside Granite Field Engineers led by Sadiq Ayomide and supported by a Dutch specialist, Wiebe Van der Wer, who flew into the country to complete the team.
The statement added that this in-country initiative brought Dangote plc savings worth at least $2.5 million.
Commenting on the feat, the Expert Field Service Engineer, Wiebe Van der Wer, noted that “…Doing this in the country has reduced the unit idle time and brought large cost savings to the customer.”
“Excluding logistics, transportation & custom clearing, normaldepot scope would cost the customer a minimum $3.5million million. But doing this in-country cost less than $1 million,” he added.
Speaking on the significant of the project to the Nigerian team, Nwabueze Adiuku stated that “it gives us an idea of what we can achieve with the upcoming Project Emerald facility in Calabar when it gets commissioned in 2017.”
On his part, Ayomide said the feat “is a major breakthrough for me as a FS Field Service Engineer and it shows that GE Power Solutions can be localized. For the customer (Dangote) it shows that we are always with them and are ready to provide cost-effective solutions whenever the need arises.”
For the repair work, the turbine made a round trip by road from Obajana to Port Harcourt and back to Obajana – a total distance of 880 km over a one-week period.
This was only possible as the GE workshop in Port Harcourt is equipped with the tools and standard facilities to carry out this large scope of work.
The Strategic Account Executive, Dangote for GE, Uzo Ezimora, said: “It’s achievements like this that make you very proud to work for GE. We have opened up a new chapter in terms of delivering world-class service with local teams and structures. No-one should underestimate the complexity of such maintenance…or its significance for our esteemed customers.”
Angbazo corroborated this by describing the project as a very important one for the organisation.
“By undertaking a service project of this scale and complexity in Nigeria, we help to expand our skills and capacity in this region. Not only has the decision to do the work locally significantly reduced costs for our customer, it has enabled us undertake the project with minimal disruption to production at the Dangote plant,” Angbazo explained.
He further noted that the successful completion of the project will further give confidence to the Dangote Group and propel more advanced maintenance works to be completed for sub-Saharan customers in a cost-effective and timely manner within the region by local teams.
Brent Crude Oil Extends Gain to $86.66 a Barrel Amid Tight Supply
Tight global oil supply pushed Brent crude oil, against which Nigeria oil is priced, to a multi-year high of $86.66 per barrel on Monday at 3:30 pm Nigerian time.
Oil price was lifted by rising fuel demand in the United States and tight global supply as economies recover from pandemic-induced slumps.
“The global energy supply crunch continues to show its teeth, as oil prices extend their upward march this week, a result of traders pricing in the ongoing rise in fuel demand – which amid limited supply response is depleting global stockpiles,” said Louise Dickson, senior oil markets analyst at Rystad Energy.
Goldman Sachs on the other hand is predicting a further increase in Brent crude oil to $90 a barrel, citing a strong rebound in global oil demand due to switching from gas to oil. This the bank estimated may contribute about 1 million barrels per day to global oil demand.
The investment bank said it expects oil demand to reach around 100 million barrels per day as consumption in Asia increases after the devastating effect of COVID-19.
“While not our base-case, such persistence would pose upside risk to our $90/bbl year-end Brent price forecast,” Goldman said in a research note dated Oct. 24.
Earlier this month, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, Russia and their allies, known as OPEC+ agreed to continue increasing oil supply by 400,000 bpd a month until April 2022 despite calls for an increase in global oil supplies.
The decision bolstered the price of Brent crude oil above $84 per barrel and expected to push the price even further to $90 a barrel. Low global oil supply amid rising demand for crude oil will continue to support oil prices in the near term.
“Despite the recent power cuts and impacts to industrial activity in China, oil demand is likely instead supported by switching to diesel powered generators and diesel engines in LNG trucks, as well as by a ramp up in coal production,” Goldman Sachs stated.
U.S. and Ghana Inaugurate New $64.7 Million Energy Infrastructure Investment at Pokuase
U.S. Ambassador to Ghana Stephanie Sullivan joined the President of Ghana H.E. Nana Akufo-Addo and other Ghana government officials to formally inaugurate the Pokuase Bulk Supply Point (BSP) in Accra today. The U.S. Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) funded the $64.7 million (GH₵ 391.9 million) electrical infrastructure project under the Ghana Power Compact.
“The Pokuase Bulk Supply Point represents sustainable infrastructure investment by the United States with Ghana that will benefit hundreds of thousands of Ghanaians now and into the future,” remarked Ambassador Sullivan at the inaugural event. “It will help deliver more reliable power to the people, places, and businesses of Accra that drive increased economic activity benefitting families, businesses, and communities.”
This represents a flagship investment under the Millennium Challenge Corporation’s Ghana Power Compact. The Pokuase BSP will reduce outages in the power system, help stabilize voltages, and improve the quality and reliability of power supplied to the northern parts of the capital city of Accra. It will also reduce technical losses in the power transmission and distribution system, contributing to the financial viability of the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) and the Ghana Grid Company (GRIDCo) in the long term. The Pokuase BSP is now the largest-capacity BSP in Ghana at 580 megavolt amperes (MVA) and will directly benefit 350,000 utility customers.
The Government of Ghana implemented the project through the Millennium Development Authority (MiDA). MiDA formally handed over the new power substation to ECG and GRIDCo in today’s ceremony.
The Pokuase BSP is the first major construction project to be completed under the Ghana Power Compact. The $316 million compact is helping the Government of Ghana improve the power sector through investments that will provide more reliable and affordable electricity to Ghana’s businesses and households. The compact is also funding a BSP at Kasoa and two primary substations at Kanda and Legon, in addition to other power sector investments, energy efficiency programs, and women’s empowerment programs within the power sector. The compact program will officially close on June 6, 2022.
Oil Falls Slightly as China Steps in to Curb Rising Coal Prices
Global oil prices moderated slightly on Wednesday following the Chinese government’s decision to curb high coal prices and ensure coal mines function at maximum capacity.
Brent crude, against which Nigerian oil is priced, dropped to $83.98 per barrel at 11:00 am Nigerian time. While the U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude fell by 80 cents or 1 percent to $81.20 a barrel.
“China is planning to take steps to combat the steep rises in the domestic coal market … which could put considerable pressure on the coal price there and reverse the fuel switch to oil,” Commerzbank said.
Prices for Chinese coal and other commodities slumped in early trade, which in turn pulled oil down from an uptick earlier in the day.
China’s National Development and Reform Commission said on Tuesday it would bring coal prices back to a reasonable range and crack down on any irregularities that disturb market order or malicious speculation on thermal coal futures. read more
Oil markets in general remain supported on the back of a global coal and gas crunch, which has driven a switch to diesel and fuel oil for power generation.
But the market on Wednesday was also pressured by data from the American Petroleum Institute industry group which showed U.S. crude stocks rose by 3.3 million barrels for the week ended Oct. 15, according to market sources.
That was well above nine analysts’ forecasts for a rise of 1.9 million barrels in crude stocks, in a Reuters poll.
However, U.S. gasoline and distillate inventories, which include diesel, heating oil and jet fuel, fell much more than analysts had expected, pointing to strong demand.
Data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration is due later on Wednesday.
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