Investors To Flock Africa Energy Conferences This September

Written by D.A. Barber

If you’re an international energy investor eyeing Africa, you’re going to have a busy month in September nation hopping. Kenya, South Africa, DRC, Rwanda, Ghana and even China are all hosting major conferences targeting energy and infrastructure investment in Africa.

The Eastern African region is undergoing an energy revolution, South Africa is leading renewable energy development, the Western region is ramping-up development of its oil and gas resources and China continues to spend lavishly on African energy and infrastructure projects.

And since the US-Africa Leaders Summit in early August, one would expect a spike in registration or sponsorship from U.S.-based companies.

“Not as yet, but we are now embarking on our USA marketing campaign so expect to see an increase in delegate numbers from the U.S. as a result of this,” Amy Offordof world conference organizer EnergyNet told AFKInsider.

“It is a bit soon to specifically indicate a trend, but I can assure you that the continent’s utility industry is very aware of the U.S. initiatives and are very excited about it,” Annemarie Roodbol, communications manager for Spintelligent told AFKInsider.

Spintelligent is the event organizer for a number of the African conferences, including the DRC Oil and Gas Forum, the East African Power Industry Convention, and the Powering African Industry 2014 Convention, while EnergyNet organizes the heavily attended annual Africa Energy Forum and the annual Africa Infrastructure and Power Forum in Beijing.

Unfortunately, due to the Ebola outbreak, organizers have postponed the much anticipated Solar & Off-Grid Renewables West Africa Conference – that was to take place in Ghana September 16-17, until the first half of April 2015.

Nevertheless, the timing of the conferences that are scheduled makes them literally a non-stop, back-to-back experience.

East Africa Leads The Way

The 16th annual East African Power Industry Convention (Nairobi, Kenya September 3-4) will bring together the region’s power utilities, investors and technology and service providers. Kenya’s KENGEN, Kenya Power, KETRACO, the Ministries of Energy, Tanesco, UEGCL, UMEME, and EEPCO will be among the more than a 1000 attendees (beating last years record of 800) along with exhibitors showcasing the latest power generation, transmission, and distribution technologies.

“EAPIC is celebrating its 16th edition this year and we believe the event has grown and become an annual must-attend on the regional power calendar because it has been able to stay relevant, up-to-date and by and for the industry,” Annemarie Roodbol, the event’s communications manager told AFKInsider.

Kenya’s Davis Chirchir, Minister of Energy and Petroleum, will give the keynote address on “Kenya’s 5000 MW plans,” and Andy Herscowitz, U.S. Power Africa Initiative coordinator, will lead a round table discussion on power transmission and distribution investment drivers, the African Clean Energy Corridor project and the skills needed for future partnerships.

The other panelists will include: Ben Chumo, CEO of Kenya Power; Felschesmi Mramba, CEO of Tanzania’s Tanesco; Joel Kiilu, CEO of Kenya’s Ketraco; and Tarun Brahmay of Netherlands-based Private Equity, N.V. FMO.

A pre-conference workshop on September 2 will focus on “financing renewable projects in Africa” and “best practices in renewable energy project management.”

The PV Project Development Africa 2014 Conference (Johannesburg, South Africa September 9-10) happens less than a month after the bid submission date of the latest round of South Africa’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Program (REIPPPP), offering an opportunity to network and learn from industry experts and regional government representatives about which markets are ripe for solar energy development.

The key industry stakeholders attending include Jinko Solar, SAPVIA, Momentous Energy, SolarCapital, Juwi Renewables, Aurora Power Solutions, Soitec, Emergent Energy, and Aurora Power Solutions. There will also be reps from major financing outfits such as Nedbank Capital, Investec Bank, Kensani Eaglestone Capital Advisory and Cresco Project Finance.

Government and private sector stakeholders across the oil and gas industry will come together at the iPAD DRC Oil & Gas Forum, (Kinshasa, DRC September 10-11) to focus on the untapped potential in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Central African region. The forum aims to contribute to investment and infrastructure development strategies in an industry that could become the DRC’s biggest Gross Domestic Product base within a decade.

The DRC’s Minister of Hydrocarbons, Crispin Atama Tabe, is scheduled to open the Forum that will include a line-up of industry speakers from Chevron, Baker Hughes, Clarke Energy, Schlumberger and Cohydro.

The discussion over the two-day event will include sessions on: The new hydrocarbons legal framework and codes; Cross border resources; Exploration hot spots in the Central Basin, Lake Kivu, the Rift Valley and Lake Tangyanika; and Pipeline infrastructure financing.

Bringing together senior decision-makers within the liquid petroleum gas (LP Gas) industry with government representatives and investors is the focus of the Argus Africa LPG 2014 Conference (Cape Town, South Africa September 16-17). This conference will offer a two-day forum for discussing the infrastructure and public policy challenges facing the LP Gas industry, as well as how LP Gas can serve as a clean, safe alternative to traditional fuels.

Power Companies Full House

Some of the companies and government agencies that have already confirmed include: Oryx Energies, Total, Rubis Energie, Strategic Energy, Transnet Port Authority, AlHussami Companies, Petroleum Institute of East Africa, National Energy Regulator of South Africa, Norton Rose Fulbright, Standard Bank and Avanti Gas.

The inaugural Powering African Industry 2014 Conference (Johannesburg September 18-19), which takes place alongside the annual Electra Mining and ELENEX Expo, aims to assist large mining, manufacturing, transport and industrial businesses to become more sustainable in order to cut costs as well as reduce their carbon emissions.

“The Powering African Industry conference is an inaugural event that came about during the 14th annual African Utility Week’s large power users conference sessions where participants requested an additional meeting to explore solutions and technologies to overcome increasing tariff increases and lack of capacity to meet energy demand,” communications manager Annemarie Roodbol told AFKInsider.

The conference will present energy efficiency and management strategies from the use of alternative energy sources, reducing carbon emissions, asset maintenance and demand side management strategies that are “key elements of today’s sustainable business development.”

The event will include speakers from Eskom, Toyota, Wits University, the Steel and Engineering Industry Federation of Southern Africa, the Mining and Industrial Energy Optimization Association, the Technology Innovation Agency and SANEDI.

The theme of the inaugural Rwanda Mining & Energy Conference and Exhibition (Kigali, Rwanda September 24-25) is “Unleashing Rwanda’s mining and energy potential to drive inclusive and sustainable growth.” The conference has been organized to help ramp-up Rwanda’s economy by showcasing what that nation currently offers in terms of mining and power potential, including identifying the challenges faced by investors. Among the discussion sessions will be one exploring Rwanda’s location as a strategic regional hub and another on expanding Rwanda’s transport infrastructure to support the region’s growing extractive industries.

Finally, September’s energy investment events wraps up across the Pacific with the 3rd Africa Infrastructure and Power Forum in Beijing September 25-26, which will bring together Chinese investors, developers and African energy ministers to discuss current opportunities in Africa’s energy and infrastructure sectors.

This event, produced by EnergyNet which organizes the annual Africa Energy Forum, expects to draw over 220 government representatives, utility companies, project developers and technology providers all interested in tapping Chinese financing.

The presentations planned include Chinese investors giving insight into their investment plans,an overview of the 5 biggest power investment opportunities in Africa in the next 5 years, and the key investment opportunities to look out for in Africa’s renewable sector.