Powering Africa: Gensets

genset2Gensets continue to play a vital part in supplying back-up power to industries across the continent. Martin Clark takes a look at some current African projects


The new Casablanca Financial City Tower is on track to be completed this year, with power supply from leading genset provider Himoinsa.

Two of its HDW-750 T5 generator sets will guarantee the supply of electricity to the CFC Tower, the first building in a new financial district.

The 26-storey building is expected to be a symbol of development and modernity in Morocco and a boost of its growing financial services industry. It will contain offices and the headquarters of banks and financial institutions, underscoring the importance of a reliable power supply. The twin generator sets will start working in parallel and will be able to supply, depending on the demand, up to 1.3MW of stand-by power.

Despite the size of the building, the Himoinsa engineering team had to redesign the generators’ standard canopy in order to adapt it to the small room in which they will be housed. As the height of the room precluded a high-level air outlet, the exhaust system has been changed ad hoc to expel the gases and hot air from the radiator from the front.


Launching a new genset range recently, Cummins Power Generation singled out West Africa as a major area poised for growth. “The biggest growth area at the moment is in West Africa,” said Alok Joshi, director, Africa and Middle East, “where the focus is on markets such as Côte d’Ivoire and Senegal.”

Cummins launched the new C450 D5, as part of the QSG12 series diesel gensets, at the Middle East Electricity 2018 trade show in Dubai. The new genset package is intended for the commercial and industrial markets. Joshi said that the genset markets in both the Middle East and Africa were still growing due to the general unreliability of power grids in these regions. Cummins is a longtime player in the African energy market, supporting a wide range of projects for many years.


A new luxury hotel complex under development on Kenya’s dreamy Chale Island, near Mombasa, will incorporate YorPower diesel generator facilities to underpin power supply. The company already boasts a long history of providing diesel generators to customers throughout East Africa, whether for prime or emergency standby power solutions. The new hotel, in the Chale Marine National Park, consists of 60 guest rooms, mostly in individual, traditionally built, chalets spread around the island. The complex includes a private beach, two restaurants, a spa and three outdoor pools, all surrounded by the warm waters of the Indian Ocean. The YorPower generators will support energy supplies at the plush island location. Its remote and isolated island position increases the likelihood of power failure, hence the need for reliable back-up.


Alaf, part of the Safal Group, recently selected Clarke Energy to supply a natural gas-fuelled captive power plant to support its manufacturing facility in Dar es Salaam. The order comprises two of GE’s J612 Jenbacher gas engines capable of generating a total of 4MW of electricity. Alaf, previously Aluminium Africa, is a leading steel roofing and allied building solutions provider based in Tanzania. The project is expected to achieve carbon savings and cost reductions as a result of the switch from diesel to gas. The recent addition of new gas pipelines, which run domestically produced natural gas from the south of Tanzania up to the capital, means gas is more widely available for industrial facilities to use for self-generation of electricity. Clarke Energy’s managing director in Africa, Alan Fletcher, said the project “demonstrates the growing acceptance of gas engines for reliable self-generation of electricity for factories in Tanzania.”


Aggreko has launched a mobile, modular power package for utility support and off-grid locations, using HFO as its primary fuel source. The company announced earlier this year that it had commenced power production in Madagascar, using 28MW of its HFO-generated energy. The company has provided power to Madagascar for a number of years. The new installation – NOOR 2 – will run alongside Jovena’s NOOR 1 turbines, as part of an extension to a 50MW agreement with the national utility company, Jirama. Aggreko’s best in class HFO energy generation solution, comprises containerised mobile, modular energy generators that can be configured and deployed in weeks. It said its HFO offering has lowered the total cost of energy for Jovena and brings cost effective, reliable and uninterrupted electricity to the 1.4 million residents of the island’s capital, Antananarivo. The start-up ceremony was attended by officials including Madagascan President Hery Rajaonarimampianina.

Find more information here about diesel genset import figures for 2017. 

Alain Charles Publishing, University House, 11-13 Lower Grosvenor Place, London, SW1W 0EX, UK
T: +44 20 7834 7676, F: +44 20 7973 0076, W: www.alaincharles.com

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