Johannesburg - US President Barack Obama has pledged $7 billion over the next five years for power projects in sub-Saharan Africa, where only one in four people have access to electricity.
The United States' initiative appears to lag China, which has already spent or committed billions to electrify Africa.
Following are some examples of China's efforts in the African power space:
- In Uganda, a Chinese company is set to start construction of the Karuma hydroelectric dam on the Nile.
China's Sinohydro Corporation won the contract to develop the plant, expected to generate 600MW on completion.
It's expected to cost about $1.6 billion and the Chinese have offered a concessional loan of $500 million to Uganda for the project.
- In Tanzania, China's Sichuan Hongda Co. Ltd. signed a $3 billion deal with Tanzania in 2011 to mine coal, iron ore and build a 600-megawatt (MW) coal-fired power plant in the south of the country.
- The centrepiece among an array of Chinese power projects in Ethiopia is the $4.1 billion Grand Renaissance Dam, designed to generate 6,000 MW upon completion.
- In Zimbabwe, China's Sino Hydro Corporation Limited won a $368 million contract and has started work to increase output by 300 MW at the Kariba hydro power plant. Kariba produces 750 MW at its peak.
Zimbabwe has also awarded a $1.3 billion contract to China Machinery Engineering Company to expand output by 600 MW at its Hwange thermal power station on a build, operate and transfer deal.
Hwange has a design capacity of 920 MW.
- In Zambia, China is supposed to provide the bulk of the funding for the 750 MW Kafue Gorge Lower power project estimated to cost about $2 billion.
- In Ghana, 130 MW of power started almost a month ago in the first phase of a 440 MW, $622 mln hydro power project funded from a Chinese loan.
- In oil-rich Angola, China has supported a number of power projects, including a credit line from China for a $203 million plan to build power sub-stations in Luanda. - Reuters