Ezra Power plant celebrates its second anniversary on 21 November. The power plant, located in Kondokoro Mangalla County, produces the bulk energy supplied to the Juba Electricity Distribution Company Ltd (JEDCO), the licensed electricity distributor in Juba.
It took the Ezra Construction & Development Group (ECDG), a subsidiary of the Ezra Group, just over two years to get the first phase of the plant running after being awarded the contract in August 2017. Currently, the power plant supplies over 30 000 homes and businesses in Juba.
The Ezra family started doing business in Ethiopia in 1986 and, with hard work, determination and savvy business skills, this small company was transformed into a highly structured incorporated organization in 2003.
The Group started operations in South Sudan in 2004. Today, Ezra Group Holdings, the parent company of five subsidiaries, is seen as a catalyst for change in South Sudan, where they have committed to building a lasting legacy as they transform the country’s landscape.
- Ezra Construction & Development Group (ECDG).
- Ezra & Lubek Construction Company Ltd (E.L)
- Ezra General Trading Ltd (EGT)
- Saba General Trading Ltd.
- Ezra Real Estate Uganda
The Ezra Group has created many impressive ventures. Here are some of the Group’s achievements:
Power Plant – One of the Group’s biggest and most impactful ventures has been the construction of the Ezra Independent Power Plant. The first phase of the plant was inaugurated by President Salva Kiir Mayardit on 21 November 2019. ECDG has so far invested US$ 100 million in the Ezra Independent Power Plant, and this figure will rise to over US$300 million once the plant hits full capacity of 100MW. This ground-breaking project was a crucial step in the development of South Sudan.
Upskilling learners and creating opportunities – The Ezra Group also runs an internship and skills development training programme for university students at the Ezra Power Plant in Kondokoro. The project aims to enhance the nation’s productivity through skills development and offer gainful employment for skilled and semi-skilled people.
Building Schools – The ECDG has successfully completed Melut Secondary School under an Engineering, Procurement, and Construction Contract (EPCC) with Dar Petroleum Operating Company (DPOC). The contract was commissioned in 2014 but because of civil unrest was completed in 2018. Thanks to this initiative, children in the community have a safe and stimulating place to develop and learn.
Building Roads – The Ezra & Lubek Construction Company has successfully constructed more than 70km of roads in the Upper Nile region in South Sudan. The Paloch- Adar- Agordeed Asphalt Road Project handled the construction of 40kms of the Adar-Agorded asphalt road, and a maintenance contract for a further 35km of the Poloich-Agorded road.
Building barges – The ECDG is also constructing two large barges to transport crude oil from Upper Nile (Paloch and/ Bentui) to the Ezra Power Plant in Mangalla County. It is more cost-effective to use South Sudan’s crude oil rather than importing it.
Real Estate – The Ezra Group has also successfully ventured into the real estate market, building Ezra Apartments in Uganda. The Group built 32 apartments located in Bugolobi and five double flats in Buziga Kampala, Uganda. The apartments were constructed in 2010 to provide affordable modern housing for customers.
Corporate Social Responsibility
The Ezra Group takes its role as a leader in the South Sudanese business community seriously, which is why giving back to the community and leaving a positive impact is part of its core values. Some of the Group’s philanthropic ventures include:
- Rehabilitation of the road network leading to the power plant for the benefit of the community
- Sponsoring 3 South Sudanese students into the following universities:
- Prospect University of Juba
- Daystar University, Kenya
- Kigali Independent University
The Group’s second phase of their CSR programme includes the construction of a community hospital in the neighbourhood that hosts the Ezra Power Plant.
The Ezra Group are also looking to invest in solar technology as South Sudan’s weather conditions are perfectly suited to this green energy source. Operations Manager for the Ezra Group, Natnael Ghebrengus Ezra says, “Ezra Construction & Development Group are currently working on the feasibility stage for incorporating solar energy into our energy offerings. This is our plan for 2022. There are many benefits to integrating solar energy as it will lead to reduced electricity costs and it’s better for the environment.”.
Insurpass Partners AXA Mansard To Provide Easy Access To Health Insurance Coverage For More Nigerians
Insurpass, an insurance technology company has partnered with AXA Mansard, a leading player in the insurance and asset management sector to provide access to affordable insurance coverage for emerging customers in Nigeria.
The partnership will leverage Insurpass’ Open Insurance API to provide easy access to AXA’s health insurance products such as Malaria-care, Malaria-care plus, Easy Care, and so on. AXA’s Malaria-care provides quality malaria test and treatment to customers at various accredited partner pharmacies nationwide. Malaria-care plus provides cashback on customers’ hospital expenses when placed on admission for 2 or more nights and pays life insurance benefit to the customer’s beneficiary in an event of a customer’s death. Easy Care provides comprehensive health coverage and gives customers access to over 1000 hospitals nationwide.
Insurpass, in its drive, to deepen insurance penetration, increase financial inclusion and break the barrier to accessing insurance coverage in Nigeria. Through its plug-and-play API infrastructure and embedded insurance model will enable other service providers ranging from Banks, Health-techs, Edu-techs, and various point-of-sale agents to enroll customers for this health insurance scheme. The company also promises coverage to the base-of-the-pyramid consumers who live in rural areas. And do not have access to smartphones or internet service, as it will enable them to access healthcare insurance. Through thousands of point-of-sales agents who already carry out mini-financial activities around their neighborhoods.
Speaking about the partnership with AXA Mansard, Gloria Agboifoh, Head of Partnership and Business Development at Insurpass stated that, “Insurpass at its core is committed to breaking the barrier to inclusive insurance in Nigeria and bringing innovative and affordable insurance closer to the very people that needs it the most and this partnership goes a long way in bringing the company closer to its goal of democratizing access to insurance coverage starting with health insurance”.
In the same vein, Mr. Alfred Egbai, Head, Emerging Customers and Digital Partnerships Group at AXA Mansard, stated that “our aim is to create innovative products that cater for the needs of our customers. We will therefore continue to strive to ensure that these products are easily accessible, this is why we have partnered with Insurpass to achieve this objective”.
Insurpass, provides an API-driven insurance infrastructure-as-a-service solution that enables companies across various sectors to embed insurance products and back-end insurance components into any web, mobile app, or USSD channel through its Open Insurance API.
AXA Mansard is registered as a composite company with the National Insurance Commission of Nigeria (NAICOM). The Company offers life and non-life insurance products and services to individuals and institutions across Nigeria whilst also offering asset/investment management services and health insurance solutions through its two subsidiaries – AXA Mansard Investments Limited and AXA Mansard Health Limited respectively. The parent company was listed on the Nigeria Stock Exchange in November 2009.
Customers can also access affordable insurance products on their devices when they log on to BimaCred an online platform powered by Insurpass.
Wärtsilä reaches 7GW installed power capacity milestone in Africa
Wärtsilä’s Energy system integration night (Image: Wärtsilä)
With over 600 power plants commissioned in 46 African countries, Wärtsilä confirms its position as a leading provider of power generation solutions in the continent
The technology group Wärtsilä first began its Africa operations in Tanzania back in 1975. Since then, the group has delivered more than 600 installations, supplied power plants in 46 countries, generating 25% of the national electricity supply in over 25 countries. Total installed capacity now exceeds 7.4 GW of which one-third is covered by operation and maintenance contracts. Today, Wärtsilä is the undisputed leader in the medium-speed power engine market in Africa.
This strong track record, built up over decades, has its roots in a dedicated local presence combined with the capability to bring together international expertise to build groundbreaking energy solutions.
Wärtsilä’s Industry Firsts in Africa
With more than 650 employees and service hubs located in Kenya, South Africa, and Senegal. Wärtsilä is proud to have contributed to many industry firsts. These include Africa’s largest gas engine power plant on the Kribi coast of Cameroon with 216MW capacity, as well as Africa’s highest installation, the 175 MW power plant in Sasolburg, South Africa, sitting at 1,700 meters above sea level.
Another first, the KivuWatt power plant in Rwanda, is the first ever power plant to use the naturally occurring methane from lake Kivu to generate electricity and reduce the environmental risks associated with such high concentrations of gas. Today’s power output is 25 MW but future planned expansions to this project will increase capacity by an additional 75 MW.
Wärtsilä’s reciprocating gas engine technology and innovative energy management systems play an important role in response to Africa’s growing demand for flexible and reliable electricity. Small to medium size projects can be used to establish microgrids in remote regions. Their flexibility means that they can work hand in hand with renewable energy resources. Output can be ramped up at the same rate as wind or solar output fluctuates. One example is the 15 MWp hybrid engine-solar PV power plant for the Essakane gold mine in Burkina Faso: The combination of low-cost renewables with flexible engine solutions enables energy intensive industries to enter an era of more cost efficient and climate friendly operations.
Africa’s Future, Beyond Energy
No single project is the same. As a leading international EPC (Engineering, Procurement and Construction) company, Wärtsilä has a history of providing unique power solutions to meet the specific challenges of its clients. As well as to extend educational and economic benefits to local communities when delivering on projects such as Tasiast in Mauritania and Ndola in Zambia
“For Wärtsilä, EPC also means Experience, Proven and Compliant. These projects have helped several nations accelerate their development and increase their standard of living, not to forget the many jobs created across the continent. At the heart of each project is local engagement, training and transmission.”, said Fabien Cadaut, Marketing & Communications Manager, Africa, Wärtsilä Energy.
This is why Wärtsilä has proudly joined forces with Ambitious.Africa, an initiative working to connect the youth of African and Nordic countries. To foster upcoming talent and co-create a more equal and sustainable future. Through this association, Wärtsilä can actively connect students, entrepreneurs, start-ups, financiers, and other stakeholders from across two continents. And provide them with the knowledge, skills and training they need to bring about real and lasting change.
As another example, Wärtsilä provides local institutions in Senegal with hands-on training and support for talented students often struggling to find their place in working life. This is part of its corporate social responsibility efforts. Another recent contribution was made in support of solar energy unit installations in informal settlements in the Western Cape. The households in these settlements are either connected to an illegal and unsafe electricity source or have no access to basic electricity.
As recent contracts such as the 120 MW power plant project in Gabon. The 90 MW gas conversion project in Senegal, and renewed O&M contracts in Nigeria demonstrate, Wärtsilä is committed to accelerate broad-based electrification across Africa.
Honeywell Group and Flour Mills of Nigeria Sign Agreement to Combine Flour Mills of Nigeria with Honeywell Flour Mills
Honeywell Group Limited (“HGL”) and Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc (“FMN”) today announced that they have signed an agreement for the proposed combination of FMN through its affiliates and Honeywell Flour Mills Plc. (“HFMP”), a portfolio company of HGL. At a total enterprise value of NGN80 billion, HGL will dispose of a 71.69% stake in HFMP to FMN. The proposed transaction will combine two businesses with shared goals and create a more resilient national champion in the Nigerian foods industry, ensuring long-term job creation and preservation. A combination of FMN and HFMP will bring together two trusted and iconic brands, creating a food business that is better positioned to benefit the growing Nigerian population and leverage opportunities stemming from the African Continental Free Trade Area (“AfCFTA”).
The key highlights of the proposed transaction are as follows:
- HGL will dispose of a 71.69% stake in HFMP to FMN based on an enterprise value of NGN80 billion. The final equity price per share payable will be determined based on HFMP’s adjusted net debt and net working capital at the date of completion.
- The proposed combination is subject to approval from the appropriate regulators.
- The complementary transaction combines FMN’s market-leading offerings that include grain-based foods, sugar, starches, oils, spreads and breakfast cereals with HFMP’s market leading diverse and differentiated range of carbohydrate products.
- Stakeholders would benefit from the more than 85-year combined track record of FMN and HFMP and their shared goal of making affordable and nutritious food available to Nigeria’s population.
- The scale of the transaction provides employees of the consolidated company with more career development opportunities in a larger organisation, with the potential to create more jobs in the economy as it will have more brands and categories, and a larger and more geographically diverse footprint.
- Customers across the nation will benefit from access to a wider product range and a robust pan-Nigerian distribution network, accessing greater number of points of sale supported by enhanced customer-focused sales teams and redistribution capabilities.
- The combination will also serve as a catalyst for an even stronger stream of innovation that is focused on local content offerings.
- The country and its food security agenda will benefit from both companies’ focus on developing Nigeria’s industrial capability, its agricultural value chain and specifically backward integration of the food industry.
- Nigeria presents vast opportunities, particularly in light of the country being the largest market on the continent as well as a signatory of AfCFTA.
- HFMP’s listing will be retained for the foreseeable future. Minority shareholders of HFMP will be treated fairly and in line with capital market regulation. Further information will be provided within the required channels and timeframes.
Commenting on the transaction, Honeywell Group Limited Managing Director, Obafemi Otudeko said: “Today’s announcement is in line with the evolution of Honeywell Group and our vision of creating value that transcends generations. For over two decades, we have supported Honeywell Flour Mills to build a strong business with a production capacity of 835,000 metric tonnes of food per annum. Following the transaction, Honeywell Group will be strongly positioned to consolidate and expand its investment activities, including as a partner of choice for investors in key growth sectors.”
Omoboyede Olusanya, Group Managing Director of Flour Mills of Nigeria, said: “The proposed transaction is aligned with our vision not only to be an industry leader but a national champion for Nigeria. We believe that this will create an opportunity to combine the unique talents of two robust businesses. As a result, we will have a better-rounded and more comprehensive skill set available to us as a combined diversified food business, thus enabling us to better serve our consumers, customers and other stakeholders, whilst providing employees with access to broader opportunities.”
The transaction is subject to regulatory approval.