The continent’s leading utility and sector professionals and projects were honoured and successes in the industry throughout 2013 were celebrated. Thousands of power and water professionals gathered for the 14th annual African Utility Week and Clean Power Africa conference and expo during which the focus was on energy and water efficiency, back-up electricity supply, clean energy solutions and Pan-African cooperation.
Winner of African Water Utility
Uganda’s National Water and Sewerage Corporation walked away with top honours in the African Water Utility category.
According to African Utility Week’s programme director Nicolette Pombo-van Zyl,“NWSC has become a beacon in the region due to its very remarkable achievements. In the early 2000, utilities started visiting NWSC to benchmark practices and policies. As the number of visits increased NWSC established the External Services Unit in 2005 to handle such programmes and render advisory, training and consultancy services to the utilities. Ever since over 110 benchmarking visits and trainings have been carried out and the utilities have realised tremendous improvements.”
The utility’s Business Relationship & Development Manager, Joseph Ndegeya: "it is very exciting to win such a prestigious award, coming on top of other African utilities - not very simple. This forum should be supported and all water and power companies should join to see how they can work together for improved service delivery and performance for sustainability. Thanks to the organisers.”
Finalists were Nairobi City Water and Sewerage Company, Kenya, Tanga Urban Water Supply and Sewerage Authority, Tanzania and Energy, Water and Sanitation Authority, Rwanda.
African Utility Executive
Cyprian Chitundu, Managing Director of Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation Limited (ZESCO), won the coveted African Utility Executive Award.
Says African Utility Week’s Pombo-van Zyl: “Mr Chitundu has driven ZESCO through the most aggressive expansion plans. Major projects in the Generation and the Transmission sectors have been made possible, to name a few: the Kariba North Bank Expansion Project, the connection of the North Western Province to the Grid, the Kalumbila 330kV Transmission project, the Luano and Kitwe 330/220/11kV substations and various substation upgrades.”
Finalists in this category were: Michael Wolf, Technical Advisor, GIZ for Kericho Water Company, Kenya, Gordon Molefe, Director: Customer Services and Supplies, Botswana Power Corporation, Sicelo Xulu, Managing Director, City Power Johannesburg.
In the category of African Collaboration the Southern African Power Pool (SAPP) was recognised for its Zimbabwe-Zambia-Botswana-Namibia (ZIZABONA) interconnector project that is currently the only project in the SAPP that involves four countries. The countries have signed an MOU expressing their desire to connect their networks and trade electricity. No other interconnector in the SAPP, involving more than three countries, has ever progressed this fast and this is a milestone achievement for the SAPP.
In his response to the award, Lawrence Musaba, Co-ordination Centre Manager, Southern African Power Pool in Zimbabwe said “it is a great opportunity to continue and implement the project. I am glad that our efforts have been recognised this recognition energises us to move forward.”
Finalists in this category were: Emfuleni Local Municipality, Reykjavic Geothermal and University of Stellenbosch.
Top African Power Utility
Genesis Electricity Limited (GEL) won the award for top African Power Utility. The company is one of the first IPPs that are executing a 78MW power plant for the supply of power to one of the two functional refineries in Nigeria. Genesis Electricity has developed IPPs in a few countries in Africa, and is in the process of acquiring a 1020MW Thermal IPP in Nigeria.
The CEO of GEL, Mr Akinwole Omoboriowo II, says in a statement: “we are elated, and indeed humbled by so great an honour to be recognised with an award of such magnitude. We congratulate the Federal Government of Nigeria for creating and fostering a vibrant enabling environment for the Power Sector in Nigeria, and for granting us the opportunity to invest in the construction of the 84MW Off-Grid Electric power supply solution to the largest complex refinery in Sub-Sahara Africa: the Port Harcourt Refinery Complex. “
Mr Omoboriowo dedicated the award to the workforce of Genesis, adding “it is because of their sustained commitment beyond the call of duty, and their vigorous dedication that we have taken these few positive ‘baby steps’ in pursuit of our Vision of lighting up Africa.... one community at a time!“
Other finalists in this category were: Copperbelt Energy Corporation, Kenya Electricity Transmission Company, ZESCO Limited of Zambia.
Category: Clean Energy Project
Winner: The Makeni Project in Sierra Leone. Said Howard Barrie, partner in the Project Finance Group at Eversheds law firm: “Addax Bioenergy and Eversheds are very proud to have won. Many people worked very hard. We have been able to provide sustainable employment for 1800 people in Sierra Leone and create a new export industry in the country, namely the export of ethanol to Europe, while increasing generated power by 20%. The award is particularly timely as the project is reaching technical completion and going into commercial production at this time.”
Finalists: Scatec Solar, Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality, Ormat Technologies.
Top South African Municipality
The City of Cape Town was named top municipality. “We’re absolutely delighted”, said the City of Cape Town’s Executive Director for Utility Services Gisela Kaiser after receiving the award for top municipality: “this is thanks to thousands of dedicated and disciplined staff and fearless leadership who only expect the best from us.”
Says African Utility Week’s programme director Nicolette Pombo-van Zyl: “we are so proud to have the City of Cape Town as the official host city to our event as Cape Town is a city that is serious about service delivery and planning. The City of Cape Town’s infrastructure planning for short-term, medium-term and long-term is at the highest level.”
The other finalists in this category were the eThekwini, Durban and Nelson Mandela Bay Municipalities.
More African Utility Week Award winners:
- Lifetime achievement Award: Dr Steve Lennon, Group Executive: Sustainability at Eskom, South Africa.
- Community Project Award: Itron for their Water PlayPump Programme at the Relekile Primary School in Kuruman, South Africa Engineering Training Programme and the University of Johannesburg.
- Energy/Water Efficiency Project Award: City Power Solar Water Geyser Project in Johannesburg.