Xago Africa is a developer of renewable energy projects and agribusiness ventures intended to support sustainable socio-economic development in Africa by expanding the availability of clean electric power for households and industry, and by promoting agribusiness ventures that incorporate processing and manufacturing to stimulate value addition and job creation. Established in Kenya in 2014 and with a permanent presence in Zimbabwe since 2017, Xago Africa combines engineering and project management capabilities with a broad investor network and strong technology partnerships.
Major energy projects include the 40 MW Siaya Solar Power & Energy Storage Project in western Kenya, a Kenya Network Energy Storage Study funded by the US Trade and Development Agency, and two 30 MW solar projects in Zimbabwe.
In addition to the solar power and energy storage projects, Xago Africa has plans to establish a 2,000 hectare bamboo plantation in Zambia in partnership with an international plantation manager; this will supply plant fibre to a pulp processing and paper manufacturing facility which we aim to construct in five years’ time when the plantation will be nearing maturity.
And recently, Xago Africa secured a licence for medical cannabis cultivation in Zimbabwe through its local partners. In the coming months we intend to complete the feasibility study and implement our investment plans. In this we are supported by industry-leading consultants and technical partners from the USA, Canada and Switzerland.
Projects & Ventures
Siaya Solar Power & Energy Storage Project (Kenya)
Xago Africa’s 40 MW grid-connected solar project in western Kenya will address the power deficit in a part of the country which suffers from chronic power shortages and voltage instability.
The 40 MW power plant will go a long way to removing the need for polluting diesel generators and costly electricity imports while the battery storage will ensure the delivery of firm and smooth power to the grid, and provide frequency regulation and voltage support within Siaya County.
The availability of reliable electric power will benefit the community at large and support commercial development in the region.
The project has a commercial operation date of December 2021 and is backed by a global energy and resources focused private equity firm, and an experienced joint development partner.
Vungu Solar Power Project (Zimbabwe)
Xago Africa paired with local developer Energywise Equipment in Zimbabwe to secure a generation licence and financing for the first of two 30 MW solar power plants to be constructed in Midlands Province.
Zimbabwe faces an acute nationwide power deficit and the Midlands Province is home to a large part of the mining sector whose output is vital to the rehabilitation of the Zimbabwe economy.
The plant will sit on a 60 hectare site which will also accommodate another 30 MW when financing allows.
In 2018, Xago Africa secured the support of a committed strategic investor, a power industry leader within the African IPP sector, and we are currently working through the challenge of raising USD project finance against the backdrop of Zimbabwe’s large debt overhang to enable construction of the first phase of the project to proceed.
King Kong Organics Medical Cannabis Joint Venture (Zimbabwe)
Xago Africa has formed a joint venture with King Kong Organics (KKOG) to develop a 100 hectare cannabis farm and processing facility for the production of cannabinoids for medicinal use and scientific research in Zimbabwe.
KKOG is led by an experienced team with a proven track record of designing, building and operating fully compliant cannabis facilities to provide customers with a consistent and safe supply of high quality cannabinoids. Having built a high-yield, premium brand business in California, KKOG is now establishing a rapidly expanding footprint in Africa.
The first hectare of greenhouses will be planted with cannabis in January 2021 and cultivation will expand to 10 hectares over the coming four crop cycles. An oil extraction plant, initially deploying supercritical CO2 equipment, together with laboratory and packaging facilities are to be constructed over the next four months in preparation for the first harvest.
Cannabinoids, such as THC and CBD, are a class of chemical compounds with vast and expanding pharmaceutical and therapeutic applications that are experiencing an unprecedented surge in global demand. The industry continues to launch new cannabinoid products to treat a wide variety of conditions and symptoms using oils, creams, lotions, and edibles.
ENERGY SERVICES & Software
Xago Africa has partnered with a US energy services consultant and software developer to deliver consulting, analytical and software services in the electric power sector.
Capabilities include data-driven operational and economic analytics to support the progression towards clean energy, management of distributed energy resources, and enhanced reliability and efficiency in electric power generation and transmission.
Consultancy services focus on policy and regulatory advice as well as integrated resource planning, transmission optimization and electrical grid simulation, evaluation of new technologies including renewables and energy storage, and providing support for the transition to a clean energy future.
Software products for power system planning and operations management focus on high-performance real-time optimization algorithms, Artificial Intelligence (AI) prediction, cloud based device control systems, data acquisition and analytics, and blockchain and smart contract applications. All software is scaleable for multi-site monitoring and control of residential microgrids, Commercial & Industrial microgrids, and power plants.
Grid Automation Software:
Energy Management System – Distributed Energy Resources
The EMS-DER is an integrated cloud-based system with on-site applications for management of hybrid or distributed energy systems with combinations of solar, energy storage, generator and grid connection. The system enables Remote Monitoring and Control with Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA).
Power Grid Operating Systems
Software systems leveraging experience in machine-to-machine communication for automated data collection, monitoring and control providing end-to-end modular solutions with powerful Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) for the Energy Internet era.
The dispatcher is a commercially available software stack deployable in the cloud and on appliances for monitoring and control of assets such as energy storage systems, microgrids, island grids, renewable energy systems and demand controls.
AI prediction software for electricity prices, demand, intermittent renewables generation, and prices of ancillary services.
Virtual Power Plant
Virtual Power Plant software with AI prediction and sophisticated optimization algorithms.
Paul W Webb - Managing Director
Paul Webb has 15 years of international experience in senior management positions with multinational corporations in Europe, USA, Asia and Africa, twice running billion dollar turnover divisions, and for the past 20 years he has been engaged in a series of entrepreneurial ventures in the engineering and technology sectors culminating in 5 years of renewable energy development in Africa. Before that he worked in the Private Equity Group at Compass Partners in London. Earlier in his career, he was a management consultant with Booz Allen & Hamilton (Asia-Pacific). He holds an MBA from INSEAD, France and is a chartered accountant having trained with Arthur Andersen & Co in London. He is a graduate of Imperial College London where he received his first degree in Mechanical Engineering.
Julian Oteng - Director, Operations
In the mid-1990s Julian Oteng was an industrial attaché to the Kenya Management Assistance Programme (KMAP) that promoted entrepreneurship through the provision of customized skills development services. He studied at Morehouse College under the Atlanta University Center Dual Degree Engineering program on a Mathematics and Nuclear Engineering track. Mr Oteng is cited for his research in metallurgy having been involved in the modification of Duplex stainless steel at the Georgia Institute of Technology’s Institute of Paper Science for the paper milling industry. Subsequently, he worked with the World Institute for Leadership and Management in Africa on the set up of a croton megalocarpus farm and bio-diesel plant with the Tana and Athi River Development Authority (TARDA). Mr Oteng is a former member of the National Biofuels Steering Committee in Kenya and is a businessman with interests in the mining sector and property development. For the last 6 years he has been working in renewable energy having co-founded Xago Africa with Mr Webb in 2014.
Culven Chipfumbu - Partner, Zimbabwe
A graduate of the City University of London in the United Kingdom, Culven Chipfumbu holds a degree in Control, Instrumentation and Systems Engineering. He has over 30 years of experience in engineering and has worked in power generation and substation construction in the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority (ZESA), and in the chemical processing industry. He also has experience in the pulp and paper industry and was Chief Engineer of Kadoma Fine Papers and Tissue Mill from 1989 to 1993. He is a project management specialist and designed, supplied, installed and commissioned the Katiyo Tea Factory plant in 2000. In 2005 he founded Energywise Equipment, a renewable energy company that developed the Vungu Solar Power Project in Zimbabwe.
Quophi Yelbert - Partner, West Africa
Quophi Yelbert has over 20 years of experience in technology management. He started his career in Kenya with the first Pan-African internet service provider, Africa Online, before moving to the World Health Organisation and later to the Baltimore based global NGO, Catholic Relief Services, where he rose to lead the design, buildout and management of their global VSAT network. He holds a BSc in Information Systems Management from Greenwich University in the UK, and a Master of Project Management and Service Design from Cornell University. He is certified by Microsoft, iDirect and ITIL in IT Service Management.