Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Electricity Equatorial Guinea

We have arrived in Equatorial Guinea (which for simplicity we will call EG).
EG obtained Independence from Spanish rule in 1968. For some strange reason, EQ has 2 national languages (Spanish and French). But we are not here to talk about languages, so lets go resources and energy.
When it comes to resources, EQ is playing third fiddle to only Nigeria and Angola in oil production in sub-Sahara Africa. Estimates are that, EQ probably has 10% of the world’s crude oil reserves. Oil accounts for more than 85% of EQ exports.
Now lets see what all the money being realized from oil is being used for. For the record, like most African countries of the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s and to some extend the early 90’s, Teodoro OBIANG NGUEMA MBASOGO seized power in a military coup, and although EQ now has a constitutional government, with Teodoro OBIANG NGUEMA MBASOGO still as the president; does this smell like Ghana and Rawlings or Gaddafi and Libya to name a few.

We are not dealing with imaginary electricity, just what is currently available (the real thing). Equatorial Guinea's electricity generating capacity varies, with 15.4 megawatts (MW) of installed and working capacity, and 5-30 MW of installed but not producing, the reason is the same sickness, (Lack of maintenance). Less than 5.0 MW are located on the mainland, including 4 MW of oil-fired thermal capacity and 1 MW of hydroelectric capacity.
Bioko Island is getting electricity from two thermal plants and one hydroelectric plant. The expansion of natural gas production at the Alba field in recent years has provided a convenient fuel source for new power generation in the country. The 10.4-MW, natural gas-fired Punta plant began operation in 2000, supplying gas-fired electricity to Bioko Island.
By all accounts, EQ is self-sufficient, but as to how much of the country has electricity, the numbers are not available, of course, the rural communities are not all lit, so your guess is as good as mine.
Regardless of how I feel about a military person ruling a country by way of coup, I have no choice but to say with tongue in cheek that, there are cheetahs in this landscape.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Electricity Central African Republic

Here we are in Central Africa, and our journey has taken us to the Central African Republic, popularly know as CAR.
For starters, like most, and I mean most African countries, this is one place where they have a lot of mineral resources like diamond, uranium, gold, and natural resources like timber and oil. Did I say oil? Well, they have it but it is not being developed, because there is no electricity.
Blackouts are the norm in CAR, at times, the blackouts lasts for days. One will think with the mineral resources, even if there is no hydro, at least diesel powered generators sets can take care of the shortfall in electricity supply.
Folks, do I see another African leaders going to Switzerland like Mobutu and his cronies did. This whole idea of African leaders not liking the domestic Banks is nothing but stupidity. When they go to meet the maker, the European Bankers would have a field day or shall I say field days with the sweat of the little people in Africa.
Before independence, the colonial masters come to rape the colonies of the raw materials and the money; today, they sit and wait, and we take the money to them. This is Neocolonialism.
I do not see any cheetahs on this landscape, CAR is filled with hippos.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Electricity Cameroon

Cameroon has been Independent for more than 40 years. To-date less than 10% of the total population is enjoying electricity.

Thanks to oil flowing from the North (that is Chad) Cameroon is getting some amount of oil, without worrying about shipping and oil tankers. You think with this opportunity, the powers that are would take advantage and commission diesel generators to move them closer to the 21st century.

I do not want to come across as being mean or too hard, but what are those in authority doing with whatever proceeds and for that matter the resources that they have and are getting.

Cameroon seems to have some bauxite, and to mine and process it; Alucam (Canada) is using almost 50% of the electricity generated. You think with the high cost of aluminum (aluminium) on the world market, there would be investment in electricity. There are plans to build one or more hydro dams along the Sanage River. But folks, hydro takes more than 3 years to build; and I love it because it is as green as you can get when it comes to power generation, but until one is completed, you need, diesel generators. Sure, damming a locale results in displacement of animals and humanoids, but it GREEN and helps with irrigation.

I look at this landscape, and after more than 40 years of self-determination or Independence, I only see hippos, and no cheetahs