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The face of powerdown - Aug 29

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Burundi hit by fuel shortage

Jean Pierre Nkunzimana, The New Vision ("Uganda's leading website")
A FUEL shortage in Burundi has led to rationing of fuel and doubling of prices. The shortage follows an order by the Burundi general prosecutor, Elysée Ndaye, for the impounding of trucks and fuel tankers belonging to Interpetrol Company and freezing of all the company's bank accounts in Burundi. The company supplies more than 50% of fuel in Burundi.

Fuel rationing started on August 21, causing queues of vehicles at petrol stations. Stations supplied by Interpetrol have no fuel, while those supplied by Engen have limited amounts.

In Bujumbura, a few filling stations sell diesel to only customers who queue for more than an hour.

Only one of the seven fuel stations in the country's town of Gitega still has fuel. The prices vary depending on supply and demand.
(27 August 2007)

Tajik presid urges population to get prepared for power shortage

ITAR-TASS news agency
President of Tajikistan Emomali Rakhmon has called on the country's officials and population in general "to seriously and in advance" prepare for major disruptions in energy supply during the coming winter. "This year's lack of water that affected the capacities of the exiting hydropower plans forced us to transfer to regulated and limited electric power supply, including to the population," Rakhmon stressed at a special government meeting on Tuesday, the presidential press service reported.

Tajikistan has been experiencing a severe energy crisis for several years due to chronic shortage of own electric power purchasing it from Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. Last winter, the supply of electricity to the population was limited by four-six hours a day, and certain rural areas had no electricity in houses during the whole autumn-winter period.
(28 August 2007)

Kenya: Daunting Task of Fuelling Economic Growth

Zeddy Sambu, Business Daily (Nairobi)
Like many of the countries whose economies are on the take-off, fueling the growth of the Kenyan economy has emerged as one of the most pressing problems facing policy makers.

The past four year of steady economic growth has seen demand for electricity rise at the rate of 10 per cent annually against a supply growth of about 8 per cent kicking off a reserve thinning process that key players are now seeking to address by shifting the activities of bulk consumers to off peak hours.

More recently, the total electricity supply rose by 15.4 per cent from 466.1 million KWh in April, to 538.2 million KWh in May 2007.

But progress on this front has been dimmed by a steep rise in peak demand from by 18 per cent from 827 MW to 975 MW by the close of March this year against an installed capacity of 1037 MW.

As the economy continues to expand, demand is expected to continue rising, raising the possibility of an energy crisis that may conversely slowdown the growth.

...Analysts say the pressure on electric power is mainly because Kenya lacks alternative energy sources such as coal and oil, making the country largely dependent on hydropower, which accounts for about 60 per cent of the total electricity supply.
(27 August 2007)

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