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$37.7 Million in Contributions to Strengthen Governance and Economic Growth

Posted on 07 January 2013 by Africa Business

The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Transition Fund recently received $37.7 million from Canada, the United Kingdom, and France to support good governance, sustainable growth, and greater employment opportunities for youth.

The grant-based Transition Fund, established by the Deauville Partnership and housed in the World Bank, was launched during the World Bank/International Monetary Fund Annual Meetings last October in Tokyo. It will provide grants to Arab countries in transition, currently Jordan, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, Tunisia, and Yemen, to support institution building and implementation of critical policies in economic governance; trade, investment, and integration; and inclusive development and job creation.

In a time of momentous and historic change, the scope of the Transition Fund is very flexible and responsive to people’s demands, and can accompany the implementation of reforms over several years if needed,” said Jonathan Walters, Executive Secretary of the Steering Committee. “The Transition Fund provides grants to help governments implement economic and governance reforms that will transform people’s lives.  The Fund can work with any public agency involved in reforms, including local government, parliaments, enterprises, ministries, and judicial systems.”

The Transition Fund’s Steering Committee held its inaugural meeting in Amman on December 11, 2012 and approved a first grant of US$1.5 million in support of improving performance of water sector institutions in Jordan. The project will help build sustainable technical capacity in the Jordan Water Authority and Yarmouk Water Company and lay the foundation for private sector involvement in the management of water services in Jordan. The project will be implemented by the Jordan Water Authority with support from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

Donors have currently pledged about $165 million towards an overall Transition Fund target of $250 million. In addition to the contributions already received, Japan, Kuwait, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and the United States have confirmed pledges.

The Transition Fund is a joint commitment among G-8 members, Gulf and regional partners, and international and regional financial institutions to support the efforts of the people and governments in transition in MENA as they aspire to change. Public entities and parliaments in transition countries can partner with the African Development Bank, Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development, Arab Monetary Fund, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, European Investment Bank, International Finance Corporation, International Monetary Fund, Islamic Development Bank, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, OPEC Fund for International Development, or the World Bank once all agreements are in place.


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Platts: September OPEC Oil Output Drops to 31.15 Million Barrels per Day

Posted on 13 October 2012 by Africa Business


LONDON , Oct., 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Crude oil output from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) fell by 390,000 barrels per day (b/d) to 31.15 million b/d in September, with Saudi Arabia and Nigeria accounting for the bulk of the month-on-month drop, a Platts survey of OPEC and oil industry officials and analysts showed October 11. This follows August production of 31.54 million b/d and leaves OPEC overproducing its 30 million b/d ceiling by 1.15 million b/d.

Saudi Arabia pumped an average 9.85 million b/d in September, 150,000 b/d lower than August’s 10 million b/d, a level it had maintained since May.

“The continued ability for Saudi Arabia to continue producing 10-million b/d has been called into question by some skeptics; the decline to less than 10 million b/d, small as it is, will be viewed as significant,” said John Kingston , Platts global director of news. “Skeptics will also point to a big drop out of Nigeria . Still, OPEC output is above various estimates of what OPEC needs to maintain to keep inventories balanced.”

Nigerian output was down by 230,000 b/d at 2.05 million b/d in September from 2.28 million b/d in August, the survey estimated.

After a sharp drop in August, Iranian output showed a dip of just 30,000 b/d to 2.72 million b/d in September, the survey showed.

In Angola , maintenance helped push volumes down to 1.7 million b/d from 1.75 million b/d in August. Other smaller decreases came from Algeria , Qatar , and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The only countries to increase output were Iraq , whose exports climbed further in September, and Libya . Iraqi output was estimated at 3.18 million, up 80,000 b/d from August, and Libyan output at 1.48 million b/d, up 30,000 b/d from August.

In recent months rising Iraqi production has set a series of post-1990 records, but the September figure of 3.18 million b/d surpasses even anything seen in 1990 and is the biggest recorded since Platts started thorough monthly surveys of OPEC production in March 1988 .

Ecuador , Kuwait and Venezuela maintained production at August levels.

The OPEC production ceiling, agreed in December 2011 and extended in June 2012 , does not include individual country quotas.

Ministers are next scheduled to meet on December 12 in Vienna .

For production numbers by country, click here.  If prompted for a cost-free, one-time-only log-in registration, the log in is your email address and a password of your choosing.

Platts OPEC and oil experts are available for media interviews; please consult Platts Media Center to schedule an interview. For other oil, energy and related information, visit

About Platts: Founded in 1909, Platts is a leading global provider of energy, petrochemicals and metals information and a premier source of benchmark prices for the physical and futures markets.  Platts’ news, pricing, analytics, commentary and conferences help customers make better-informed trading and business decisions and help the markets operate with greater transparency and efficiency.  Customers in more than 150 countries benefit from Platts’ coverage of the carbon emissions, coal, electricity, oil, natural gas, metals, nuclear power, petrochemical, and shipping markets.  A division of The McGraw-Hill Companies (NYSE: MHP), Platts is headquartered in New York with approximately 900 employees in more than 15 offices worldwide. Additional information is available at

About The McGraw-Hill Companies: McGraw-Hill announced on September 12, 2011 , its intention to separate into two companies: McGraw-Hill Financial, a leading provider of content and analytics to global financial markets, and McGraw-Hill Education, a leading education company focused on digital learning and education services worldwide. McGraw-Hill Financial’s leading brands include Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services, S&P Capital IQ, S&P Dow Jones Indices, Platts energy information services and J.D. Power and Associates. With sales of $6.2 billion in 2011, the Corporation has approximately 23,000 employees across more than 280 offices in 40 countries. Additional information is available at

Kathleen Tanzy


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IFC Invests in Takoradi 2 Expansion to Increase Power Generation in Ghana

Posted on 26 July 2012 by The African Press Organization


ACCRA, Ghana, July 24, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ — IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is providing an $80 million loan to Takoradi International Company (TICO), to help expand its gas-fired Takoradi 2 power plant (“T2″) in Ghana, increasing the generation of electricity in the country to spur economic growth.

TICO is a joint venture between Abu Dhabi National Energy Company PJSC

(“TAQA”) (90%) and Volta River Authority (“VRA”) (10%), the main generator and supplier of electricity in Ghana. TAQA is the operator of the facility.

T2 will use waste heat recovery technology for the expansion, which means the plant will be able to generate 50% more electricity with only marginal incremental fuel consumption and without increasing greenhouse gas emissions. The increased efficiency will also lower the cost of electricity generated by T2.

Alongside the $80 million, IFC will provide an additional $15 million loan to TICO on behalf of the Canada Climate Change Program, for which IFC is the implementing agency. The OPEC Fund for International Development will be providing $22.5 million, and the balance of the $330 million debt financing will be provided by a consortium of international development finance institutions, led by FMO.

T2′s expansion responds to increasing demand for electricity in Ghana.

While the country enjoys a relatively high electrification rate of 61%, Ghana’s growing economy has stretched the power sector, which mostly relies on hydro generated power from Lake Volta. The plant previously ran on light crude oil, but with increasing offshore gas finds in Ghana and Nigerian gas now flowing to Ghana through the West African Gas Pipeline, the existing turbines have been converted to dual fuel capability, to also run on natural gas.

Frank Perez, Executive Officer and TAQA’s Head of Power & Water said, “We are delighted to have jointly developed this landmark project with our partner VRA and the Government of Ghana. This is the culmination of hard work by all parties to ensure that we deliver the best possible electric tariff for the Ghanaian consumer in an environmentally responsible way. We have played a vital role during the last ten years in delivering a reliable source of electricity to the population with an excellent safety record, and this project will enable us to continue to do so for another 25 years.”

Yolande Duhem, IFC Director for West and Central Africa said, “The expansion of Takoradi 2 demonstrates how the private sector can help increase supply and reduce the cost of power generation in West Africa.

Takoradi 2 is the first commercial project financing for an independent power project in Ghana, and will serve as a landmark as the Government of Ghana continues to encourage private sector participation in power.”

Increasing power generation is at the heart of IFC’s strategy for infrastructure development in sub-Saharan Africa. IFC invested $1 billion in infrastructure projects in Africa in fiscal year 2012, up from $200 million five years ago.

About IFC

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. We help developing countries achieve sustainable growth by financing investment, providing advisory services to businesses and governments, and mobilizing capital in the international financial markets. In fiscal 2011, amid economic uncertainty across the globe, we helped our clients create jobs, strengthen environmental performance, and contribute to their local communities—all while driving our investments to an all-time high of nearly US$19 billion.

For more information, visit


International Finance Corporation (IFC) – The World Bank

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Growing MENA-MED Oil and Gas Market Attracts Investors

Posted on 09 July 2012 by


GENEVA, July 9, 2012 /PRNewswire/ —

9th MidEast-North Africa Mediterranean Upstream Conference – focuses on new opportunities

With huge gas finds in the Mediterranean, new gas-LNG ventures afoot, accelerating acreage leasing and major capital investment projects across the region, the Middle East and North African oil and gas market remains one of the biggest and most dynamic energy markets in the world. Therefore, the regional exploration, oil/gas-LNG and energy game attracts a growing number of companies and investors who find new business opportunities.

The conference in Geneva focuses on the exploration and development ventures of national oil companies, governments and companies in this vast and complex region. New opportunities have attracted greater commitments from super-majors, a growing suite of independents, including local oil firms, and increased positioning by national oil companies from around the world.

Dr Duncan Clarke, Chairman & CEO of Global Pacific & Partners says: ” With the world’s largest oil reserves in the Middle East, major capital investment projects across the region, acreage openings, new oil/gas and LNG strategies across North Africa, plus huge gas finds in the Mediterranean, the meeting will once again highlight significant opportunities for companies and investors, financiers, traders and players across the value chain.”

During the intensive and high-level two-day program keynote speakers from major companies from all over the world report on key themes like state oil/gas policies, discoveries and development, regulation and interventions in the oil/energymarket, strategies of oil-gas/LNG-energy investors, private upstream projects and joint-venture interests, corporate assets/portfolio and strategies, as well as bid rounds, licensing, new ventures, business development, OPEC strategies and reserves, plus critical market issues impacting the Middle East-North Africa-Mediterranean zones.

Speakers like Pascal Laroche, Business Development Manager of Total UAE and Tarik Mokrane, Country Chairman Algeria of Shell International E&P, offer an inside look in their portfolio’s, with presentations including from Wadie Habboush, President & CEO of Habboush Group, and RWE, Apache, Iraq Institute, Botas, Cairn Energy, Noble Energy, MND, Petrogas E&P, MOL Group, Dana Petroleum, New Zealand Oil & Gas (Tunisia), Energean Oil & Gas, Oman Oil Company E&P, and government representatives and state oil companies from Tunisia, Cyprus and Morocco.


9th MidEast-North Africa-Mediterranean 2012 Upstream Conference

10 & 11 September 2012, Four Seasons Hotel, Geneva, Switzerland

Hosted by: Global Pacific & Partners

More information:

SOURCE Global Pacific & Partners

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