Last weekend, US President Barack Obama unveiled his “power Africa” plan that aims to double access to power in sub-Saharan Africa through $7 billion in US government investment—and General Electric (GE) is the key partner here.
The $7 billion will ostensibly bring 10,000 megawatts of electricity to the region, providing a “lifeline for families to meet their most basic needs,” according to Obama, and plugging Africa into the global economy.”
Reportedly, private companies have already pledged over $9 billion in investment for Obama’s plans to power sub-Saharan Africa, with GE leading the pack.
Specifically, GE has committed to bringing 5,000MW of new power online in Tanzania and Ghana—and we’re beyond the planning stage here.
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The government of Ghana has already signed a memorandum of understanding with GE for the construction of a 1,000MW power plant that would probably be fueled natural gas from the offshore Jubilee field operated by Anadarko Petroleum (APC).
The deal with Ghana is only tentative because everything in Ghana right now is tentative, as the country waits on tenterhooks to see whether the Supreme Court will rule to uphold the last presidential election results.
Why this is all great for GE is because the US government is de-risking this massive investment, especially at a time when it’s extremely difficult for US energy companies to compete with their more prolific Chinese counterparts who are all over Africa.
By. Charles Kennedy of Oilprice.com