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Global primary energy consumption overall was at a record absolute high in 2023. (Image source: Adobe Stock)

Energy

The Energy Institute (EI) and co-authors KPMG and Kearney have launched the annual edition of the Statistical Review of World Energy, presenting global energy data for 2023

“Energy is central to human progress,” said EI president Juliet Davenport. “It is also now central to our very survival. With global temperature increases averaging close to 1.5°C, 2023 was the warmest year since records began, and the increasingly severe impacts of climate change were felt across all continents.

“In this Year’s Statistical Review, we report on another year of highs in our energy hungry world. 2023 saw record consumption of fossil fuels and record emissions from energy, but also record generation of renewables, driven by increasingly competitive wind and solar energy.”

Key highlights of the report include:

Record global energy consumption

Global primary energy consumption overall was at a record absolute high, up 2% on the previous year to 620EJ. Global fossil fuel consumption reached a record high, up 1.5% to 505EJ (driven by coal up 1.6%, oil up 2% to above 100 million barrels for first time, while gas was flat). As a share of the overall mix they were at 81.5%, marginally down from 82% last year. Emissions from energy increased by 2%, exceeding 40 gigatonnes of CO2 for the first time.

Solar and wind drives renewable generation

Renewable generation, excluding hydro, was up 13% to a record global high of 4,748TWh. This growth was driven almost entirely by wind and solar and accounted for 74% of all net additional electricity generated. As a share of primary energy use, renewables (excluding hydro) were at 8%, or 15% including hydro.

Gas rebalancing in Europe

European gas demand fell by 7% following a fall of 13% the previous year. Russia’s share of EU gas imports fell to 15%, down from 45% in 2021, with LNG imports outflanking piped gas to Europe for a second year in a row.

Peaking fossil fuel dependence in advanced economies

In Europe fossil fuels fell to below 70% of primary energy for the first time since the industrial revolution, driven by demand reduction and renewable energy growth. US consumption of fossil fuels fell to 80% of total primary energy consumed.

Fossil fuel growth remains in developing countries

In India fossil fuel consumption was up 8%, accounting for almost all demand growth, and stood at 89% share of overall consumption. For the first time, more coal was used in India than Europe and North America combined. In Africa primary energy consumption fell in 2023 by 0.5%. Fossil fuels accounted for 90% of overall energy consumption, with renewables (excluding hydro) at only 6% of electricity. China’s full return post-Covid saw fossil fuel use increase to a new high, up 6%, but as a share of primary energy it has been in decline since 2011, down to 81.6% in 2023. China added 55% of all renewable generation additions in 2023, i.e. more than the rest of the world combined.

Diverse energy stories

Nick Wayth, EI chief executive, commented, “The progress of the transition is slow, but the big picture masks diverse energy stories playing out across different geographies. In advanced economies we observe signs of demand for fossil fuels peaking, contrasting with economies in the Global South for whom economic development and improvements in quality of life continue to drive fossil growth.”

“In a year where we have seen the contribution of renewables reaching a new record high, ever increasing global energy demand means the share coming from fossil fuels has remained virtually unchanged at just over 80% for yet another year,” remarked Simon Virley CB FEI, vice chair and head of energy and natural resources, KPMG in the UK. “With CO2 emissions also reaching record levels, it’s time to redouble our efforts on reducing carbon emissions and providing finance and capacity to build more low carbon energy sources in the global south where demand is growing at a rapid pace.”

Elsewhere, DNV has charted a pathway to a successful energy transition. Disscover the report here: https://africanreview.com/energy/the-pathway-to-a-successful-energy-transition

The Liebherr LTM 1400-6.1 is characterised by its high lifting capacities and 70 m telescopic boom. (Image source: Liebherr)

Construction

Liebherr has launched the new LTM 1400-6.1, described by the leading manufacturer as “the world’s most powerful 6-axle crane”

The new machine presents an upgrade to its predecessor, the LTM 1350-6.1, with major differences particularly around the assembly process for the Y-guying system. With one self-assembly lift, the LTM 1400-6.1 places the guying system on the chassis, where it is then pinned in place. The hydraulic quick coupling closes automatically when the boom is luffed down between the two Y-frames. The electrical connection is established with one final movement and the telescopic boom with Y-guying is ready for use in just a few minutes.

Various lattice jibs enable the new crane to work efficiently in a wide range of applications. The fixed lattice jib extends the telescopic boom by up to 45.5 m and can be mounted at an angle of 0°, 10°, 20° and 40°. As an option, the fixed jib can be adjusted between 0° and 40°. The luffing lattice jib, with a length ranging from 14 m to 80.5 m, delivers maximum height, radius and performance.

The total available ballast for the new LTM 1400-6.1 consists of 100 tonnes of basic ballast and 40 tonnes of additional ballast. The hydraulic ballasting device is integrated in the counterweight frame – ballast assembly is simple, quick and does not require an auxiliary crane. The VarioBallast system is fundamentally different to the one found on the predecessor model. The 140 tonnes of total ballast can now be set to a radius of 7.7 m to achieve the higher lifting capacity. In confined spaces, the ballast radius can be reduced to 5.6 m. The counterweight plates are compatible with those found on other large Liebherr cranes.

The variable VarioBase supporting system ensures additional versatility. In addition to the option of flexibly using the predefined support positions with pinning options of 0%, 25%, 50%, 75% and 100%, the sliding beams can now also be freely extended between 0% and 50%. Until now, this was only possible on mobile cranes with up to five axles.

The 400-tonne crane is powered by the Liebherr single-engine concept and a mechanical drive for the superstructure. An eight-cylinder Liebherr diesel engine with 455 kW / 619 h.p. and 3,067 Nm of torque ensures a powerful travel drive.

Liebherr has developed different driving conditions to ensure worldwide, economical mobility. With an axle load of 12 tonnes, the LTM 1400-6.1 with telescopic boom and detachable hook block has an overall length of 17.8 m. On the construction site, the 400-tonne machine can be driven with 10 tonnes of ballast, a three-line hook block and Y-guying with an axle load of less than 16.5 tonnes. Equipment can be removed for road journeys requiring lower axle loads.

Liebherr has also taken pains to ensure safety in ensured at all times when the machinery is being operated. This includes the installation of various driver assistance systems to increase road safety, especially for vulnerable road users such as pedestrians and cyclists. For example, the Blind Spot Information System warns the crane driver when someone is in the vehicle's blind spot, particularly when the crane is turning. The moving off information system also provides a visual and acoustic warning if someone is in front of the crane.

The RA40 is the largest of the two haulers being promoted by Rokbak. (Image source: Rokbak)

Mining

Rokbak, an articulated hauler manufacturer and member of the Volvo Group, has partnered with Heavy Machinery Dealership (HMD) to help bring its ADTs to customers in Nigeria, Ghana, Senegal, Benin, Guinea and Côte d'Ivoire

HMD is a premier provider of construction, mining and quarrying equipment in West Africa, boasting a strong reputation as an experienced local partner. This expertise will now be used to support Rokbak’s efforts to expand its footprint in key West African countries as it seeks to serve the mining and construction sectors there.

“Rokbak has an excellent reputation, and our customers know and trust the Volvo brand,” commented HMD CEO Mathew Khouri. “Rokbak haulers will complement our product portfolio well, offering the thriving mining, quarrying and construction industries in West Africa a reliable and efficient ADT. With Rokbak we will deliver high-quality trucks alongside our exceptional service and support.”

According to Rokbak, this announcement comes at a time when demand for reliable, high-performance machinery is at an all-time high, owing to the blossoming construction and mining industries in West Africa. To meet these needs, the company is promoting two signature hauler models. The RA40 is the largest with a gross power of 331kW (444 hp), a maximum torque of 2,225 Nm and a 38 tonne (41.9 US ton) payload. Like the RA40, the 28 tonne (30.9 US ton) RA30, with a gross power of 276 kW (370 hp) and a maximum torque of 1880 Nm, benefits from a transmission retardation system, a fully adaptable drivetrain and easy maintenance to suit a variety of different job sites.

Supplying heavy machinery in West Africa

“Our partnership with Rokbak represents a significant advancement for our customers in West Africa and continues our vision to become the leading supplier of heavy machinery in Africa through customising solutions to customers’ needs,” continued Mathew. “Rokbak’s robust and reliable haulers are perfect for the region’s requirements. We look forward to working closely with Rokbak to enhance the capabilities of our customers and contribute to the development of the local infrastructure and important applications in the region.”

Paul Douglas, Rokbak managing director, added, “We are delighted to partner with HMD in West Africa. HMD's reputation for excellence and customer satisfaction aligns perfectly with Rokbak and the Volvo Group’s values. This partnership is a testament to our commitment in expanding our global reach and supporting customers in even more territories in the construction, quarrying and mining industries. Our high-quality haulers, combined with HMD’s vast experience and local expertise, will deliver exceptional value to our customers.”

Rokbak managing director, Paul Douglas, and HMD CEO, Mathew Khouri, shaking hands.

Transporting the massive transformer meant overcoming many logistical challenges. (Image source: AGL)

Logistics

AGL Egypt, part of Africa Global Logistics, has successfully transported a 50-ton transformer to Zimbabwe

The massive transformer contained 14 tons of compressed nitrogen gas – a critical component for its operation – and was required to be transported through the Port of Durban in South Africa and then on through multiple countries until it reached its final destination. Under the leadership of Osama Sedawy, the AGL team in Egypt successfully carried out the operation despite challenging circumstances including complex border crossings, challenging road conditions and local regulations.

According to the company, the completion of this project is a demonstration of its logistical expertise, its commitment to supporting regional growth and connectivity, and its ability to handle large-scale, complex operations with precision and reliability.

Jason Reynard, regional managing director at AGL East Africa, remarked, “We are immensely proud of our team’s accomplishment in executing this challenging logistics project. This project is a testament to our dedication to providing seamless logistics solutions that support the economic development and infrastructure advancement of the region. Our robust logistics networks are essential in driving the progress and transformation we are witnessing across Africa.”

Elsewhere, AGL Rwanda has laid the foundation stone for the extension of its Kigali warehouse as part of its efforts to meet growing logistics demand in East Africa. Discover more at: https://africanreview.com/transport-a-logistics/agl-rwanda-moves-to-meet-growing-logistics-demand-in-east-africa

The Afreximbank Annual Meetings (AAM) 2024 were held in Nassau, The Bahamas. (Image source: Afreximbank)

Finance

African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) has launched its African Trade Report 2024 and African Trade and Economic Outlook Report 2024, forecasting greater growth in African economies than the global average

The reports were launched at the Afreximbank Annual Meetings (AAM) 2024 which was held in Nassau, The Bahamas. The latter of which, titled ‘A Resilient Africa: Delivering Growth in a Turbulent World’, analyses the economic environment, trade patterns, debt scenarios and future projections for African economies. One of the key, positive takeways highlighted by the organisation is that African economies are expected to grow on average by 3.8% in 2024 – a figure greater than the predicted global growth of 3.2%. In 2025, Afreximbank forecasts this to climb even higher, reaching 4% growth.

“This performance is reflective of the resilience of the African economy and the potential impact of the African Continental Free Trade Area’s (AfCFTA) single market for the continent as a tool to protect them from global shocks,” explained Yemi Kale, Afreximbank’s group chief economist and managing director of research and international cooperation. “Our analysis in the report also revealed large untapped potential in intra-African trade, especially with respect to machinery, electricity, motor vehicles, and food products.”

The report also revealed that African economies face several downside risks, including increasing levels of sovereign debt and associated sustainability risks, excessive exposure to adverse terms-of-trade shocks, escalating geopolitical tensions in some cases, volatile domestic political environments in certain African countries, high commodity prices and inflationary pressures, and potential food insecurity.

Despite this, the general outlook for Africa in 2024 remains positive with the research suggesting that most macroeconomic indicators are expected to improve in 2024 and 2025.

AfCFTA’s impact

In the African Trade Report 2024, titled 'Climate Implications of the AfCFTA Implementation', it is concluded that the AfCFTA offers a path to achieving the developmental goals of African nations while also addressing climate change concerns, according to the chief economist.

Kale also indicated that while the benefits of the AfCFTA can be seen, the debate on its impact on climate change is still ongoing. He remarked, “One group believes that increased urbanisation and industrialisation associated with the AfCFTA will worsen carbon emissions, and the second group believes that by emphasising intra-African trade and reducing extra-African trade, carbon emissions will be eliminated through shorter shipping distances.”

Overall, the report states that optimising the AfCFTA can result in potential gains through increased intra-African trade and investment, creating economic prosperity and fulfilling the vision of the founding fathers.

Earlier this year, Afreximbank captured headlines by announcing a financing facility to support the Government of Cameroon implement its National Development Strategy. Read more at: https://africanreview.com/finance/cameroon-national-development-strategy-receives-afreximbank-backing

Product manufacture could be anything you typically use a mould for such as vacuum forming, foam casting, food production or composite layup. (Image source: Fyous)

Manufacturing

Fyous is seeking to fundamentally change the manufacturing industry by launching its PolyMorphic moulding technology

As the world’s first, infinitely reusable moulding technology, PloyMoprhic was devised and engineered by company co-founders Joshua Shires and Thomas Bloomfield. The product features more than 28,000 densely packed pins that create the mould and, when in position, can withstand six tonnes of distributed pressure.

Capable of adapting to a different shape in under 20 minutes, the product produces zero tooling waste and makes usable parts 14 times faster than 3D printing.

"Our mission is to deliver a revolutionary moulding technology that will disrupt prototyping and manufacturing sectors worldwide,” commented Shires. "Using PolyMorphic moulding to rapidly create accurate moulds for tooling will reduce time to market for a huge array of products, plus unlock commercial viability for desirable products which currently have no cost-effective manufacture method.

"Our mission is to deliver this disruption whilst reducing environmental impact. PolyMorphic moulding is a zero-waste technology where raw materials are conserved and the moulds can be used again and again. We will remove not only physical waste in the form of materials and tooling, but also remove wasted time by accelerating product development, prototyping and manufacture efficiencies.”

Limitless manufacturing applications?

It was originally conceived to create bespoke footwear for athletes but the founders, after realising the broader potential of PolyMorphic, have extended its application to include medical and other industrial uses. With patent-pending, PolyMorphic will be unveiled in full at the RAPID + TCT event in Los Angeles which is running from 25-27 June in USA.

"This versatility makes its possible applications almost limitless,” added Bloomfield. “Much like when 3D printing was developed, the applications it could potentially be used for was unknown by its inventors. The Fyous team is now undertaking this period of discovery with PolyMorphic moulding, uncovering potential applications for this technology at an exponential rate."

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