Karpowership plunges Guinea-Bissau into darkness

  • Reuters reports that Guinea-Bissau’s capital was plunged into darkness on Tuesday after Turkish company Karpowership cut off electricity supplies to the West African nation due to an unpaid debt of $17 million which was confirmed by the country’s economy minister. 

Minister Suleimane Seidi said arrangements were under way to pay $15 million of arrears owed by the Electricity and Water Company of Guinea-Bissau and promised the issue would be resolved within 15 days

In a statement on the situation in Guinea-Bissau, a Karpowership spokesperson said: “Unfortunately, following a protracted period of nonpayment, our (floating power plant) is now unable to continue operating.”

In January 2019, Karpowership signed a contract with Electricidade e Aguas da Guiné-Bissau (EAGB) to deploy a Powership of 35 MW. Karpowership is operational in Guinea- Bissau since 2019 and has been supplying 100% of Guinea-Bissau’s total electricity needs.

Link to original Reuter’s article HERE 

Last month Karpowership cut off electricity supply to Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone, seemingly due to unpaid bills. Read more

Karpowership controversy in South Africa

Karpowership SA was awarded preferred bidders’ status for three gas power ship projects totalling 1220MW in South Africa’s controversial Risk Mitigation Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (RMIPPPP) . Their projects have struggled to reach financial close since July 2021 and face massive push back from environmental groups. The groups have challenged Karpowership SA late and revised EIA application for Richards Bay floating gas power plant.

According to civil society organisations – including the South Durban Community Environmental Alliance (SDCEA), groundWork, The Green Connection, Natural Justice, and the Centre for Environmental Rights (CER) – South Africans must be wary of this deal which, if approved, could have far-reaching implications. Read more

The current ruling party, the ANC, stands to benefit financially through the Karpowership SA gas supply value chain. Read more 

More recently, a court battle between Turkish powership company Karadeniz and its estranged BEE partners unearthed a draft agreement suggesting that influential businesswoman Anna Mokgokong was asked to help Karpowership secure permits from government. In terms of the agreement, Karadeniz would help Mokgokong and her company take over 49% of the R218-billion Karpowership deal, replacing the original BEE shareholders. The secret agreement also promised Karadeniz a slice of a new R13.6-billion gas terminal in the Port of Ngqura – an arrangement described as “State Capture on steroids”. Read more

Author: Bryan Groenendaal

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