During African Utility Week, which took place in Cape Town last week, the winners of the African Power, Energy & Water Industry Awards 2019 were announced.
The winner of the Outstanding Contribution Award: Power was Jasandra Nyker, CEO of BioTherm Energy, South Africa.
Nyker said it has been eight years since they started building biotherm energy into a renewable energy investment and development platform. The business has grown from 4 MW in PPAs to over 450 MWs of secured PPAs.
BioTherm has expanded its development activities to build a pan African business by winning projects in Zambia, Burkina Faso, Cote D'Iviore and Ghana, and has also won large scale projects with some of the leading global mining companies.
The Grid-Tied Renewable Energy Project (10MW +) Award went to the Kathu Solar Thermal Power Plant in South Africa.
Kathu Solar Park is a 100MW concentrated solar power (CSP) project located in the Northern Cape Province. Construction on the project commenced in May 2016.
The solar power park achieved commercial operation in January 2019 and has an operational life of 30 years.
The Lifetime Achievement Award went to Wondimu Tekle Sigo, former State Minister, Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Energy in Ethiopia.
The Outstanding Contribution Award: Water went to Prof. Andras Szöllösi-Nagy, president of the governing board of the Sustainable, Development Studies Institute National University of Public Service in Hungary.
"Africa needs capacity in water resources. Although rich in water, it will have major problems to make water use sustainable for generations to come, particularly in the light of climate change," he said in a pre-recorded message.
The Outstanding Contribution Award: Young Leader went to Astria Fataki, Energy Generation, founder and president.
He said he realised that energy was a very strong factor and tool for development.
"But as I was implementing projects, I came across a lot of human resources challenges, so I started wondering how we can contribute to the electrification of the continent but with local resources, both technical and human resources," he said.
"So that is how the idea came to first develop the human capital to provide solutions to the challenge of access to energy and also innovative technology that is tailored for Africa."
The Power Service Provider of the Year Award went to the Ghana Grid Company. It also supplies power to Burkina Faso, Togo and Benin and is doing a lot as far as the West Africa Power Pool is concerned.
The Water Service Provider of the Year Award went to the Lilongwe Water Board in Malawi.
The Small-Scale Sustainable Energy Project (under 5MW) Award went to the Rubagabaga Hydropower in Rwanda.