As the shortage of reserve energy margins in sub-Saharan Africa continues to bring pressure to bear upon the region's economic growth, the region's energy industry leaders and professionals will be looking to the inaugural POWER-GEN Africa conference and exhibition for solutions.
POWER-GEN Africa and the co-located Renewable Energy World Africa event will be held in Johannesburg on 6-8 November 2012 at the Sandton Convention Centre.
According to Nigel Blackaby, Conference Director for PennWell's International Power Group, three conference tracks have been developed in a bid to address the informational needs of all stakeholders in sub-Saharan Africa's power generation industry. These are the Strategic Track and Technology Track of POWER-GEN Africa and alongside them, the Renewable Track of the Renewable Energy World Africa event.
The Strategic Track will address such hot-button topics as Energy Security; Power Sector Regulation; Financing Power Developments; Investment Risk Mitigation; Planning & Operational Challenges; Industrial Power Generation; Capacity Building, Skills & Training; and The Challenge of Rural Electrification.
Topics on the Technology Track agenda include Steam Technology; Gas Turbine Technology; Flexible Power Generation; Fuel Quality Issues; Operations & Maintenance; Emissions Control; Lifetime Extensions and Retrofits; and Performance Optimisation.
The Renewable Track, will bring attention to Renewable Energy Policies for Sustainable African Development; Wind Project Development; The Future for Hydropower; Geothermal Energy; Opportunities Arising from Hydro Rehabilitation, Modernisation and Upgrade; Bioenergy Development – Domestic, Commercial & Industrial; Rural Electrification from Renewable Energy Sources; and Creating and Maintaining a Strong Solar Industry in Africa.
Blackaby says the conference has been awarded a pre-validation, by the South Africa Institute of Electrical Engineers (SAIEE), of 2.5 CPD credits and therefore offers an opportunity for engineers to further their professional education at the same time as networking with their peers.
He adds, "The energy challenges in Sub-Saharan Africa are many and they impact seriously on the overall performance of the region's social and economic indicators. Improving the added value of African products will require modern energy provision for manufacturing, processing, storage and transportation. Energy is also needed for the development of small-scale enterprises, which can contribute to the region's economic survival and growth. POWER-GEN Africa and Renewable Energy World Africa will look closely at how this can be achieved."
The exhibition that will run parallel to the conference has already attracted exhibitors from more than 20 countries around the world. Among the international exhibitors are Ansaldo Energia of Italy; Pratt & Whitney of the USA; Siemens of Germany; Tiveni of India; Wartsila of Finland; WorleyParsons of Bulgaria and England; and Andritz Hydro of Austria.
Says Blackaby, "The exhibition offers a unique opportunity for African power industry players to meet their international counterparts, to explore, research, engage, discuss and debate as well as to source and view new technologies, products and services from around the world."
Similarly, by participating as an exhibitor, local companies will have the opportunity to demonstrate their edge in the industry to the region's most influential decision makers; promote new technologies, products and services; generate sales leads; and explore business opportunities and meet new partners in dynamic surroundings.
Blackaby concludes, "Sub-Saharan Africa consumes just 2.7% of world commercial primary energy. In terms of electrical energy use, the gap is even more glaring with per-capita electricity consumption in many Sub-Saharan African countries at the rate of 1/100th that of the USA. Africa's potential as a growing economic force is dependent upon adequate power supplies and the opportunities for developing the required infrastructure are considerable.
"These many challenges require the application of modern business and operational strategies alongside the latest power engineering technology and POWER-GEN Africa and Renewable Energy World Africa will bring real solutions to the table to address these issues head on."
POWER-GEN Africa and Renewable Energy World Africa are the newest additions to PennWell's established global network of events aimed at linking professionals in the energy generation industry. They join such established events as POWER-GEN International, POWER-GEN Europe, POWER-GEN Middle-East, POWER-GEN India & Central Asia, DistribuTech USA and DistribuTech Brazil.
For further information visit www.powergenafrica.com