Company news in brief

Bannerman gets go-ahead for EtangoAustralian-based Bannerman Energy has received a mining licence for its flagship Etango Uranium Project in Namibia, along with award of initial contracts for the Etango early works programme.

“The grant of the mining licence has allowed Bannerman to move immediately to award two key early works contracts on Etango for the build of the temporary construction water supply and the site access road,” Bannerman said in a statement on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX).

These contracts hold a combined value of approximately N$36 million and have been awarded to a local Namibian contractor and follow a tender process undertaken earlier this year.

“The grant of the Etango mining licence represents a milestone event for Bannerman and our valued stakeholders. This moment is the culmination of our unwavering focus on Etango since our initial investment in 2006, all the while maintaining our conviction in the vital role of nuclear power for a better world, said Brandon Munro, managing director and CEO of the company.

Bannerman CEO Gavin Chamberlain added: “Our overall construction schedule remains on track, with this final project permit now complete and the front end engineering and design work meeting our most optimistic expectations.

“We look forward to site establishment commencing in January, with early works construction proceeding in parallel with other workstreams over the next four to six months.”

Bannerman is also listed on the Development Capital Board (DevX) of the Namibian Stock Exchange (NSX). It closed at N$32.94 per share yesterday.

TotalEnergies to build solar plant in SATotalEnergies is ready to start construction of a 216 megawatt solar plant with battery storage in South Africa that should be operational in 2025, the company said on Friday.

Africa’s most advanced economy is battling to end crippling power cuts blamed on its ageing fleet of coal-fired plants, while seeking to transition away from the polluting fossil fuel.

The project in South Africa’s Northern Cape province achieved financial close on Thursday, TotalEnergies said in a statement.

The France-based energy company owns 35% of the consortium developing the project, with its partners Hydra Storage Holding and Reatile Renewables controlling 35% and 30%, respectively.

Vincent Stoquart, senior vice president for renewables at TotalEnergies, said the hybrid renewables plant, comprising a solar plant and a 500 MWh battery storage system, will supply continuous green electricity to the national grid beyond the hours of sunshine.

According to power utility Eskom, each megawatt can power 650 average homes, which means TotalEnergies’ planned plant could provide for about 140 000 households.

– Reuters

Pfizer resets 2024 Covid ­expectationsPfizer last week forecast 2024 sales that could be as much as US$5 billion below Wall Street expectations, a move top executives said provided a more reliable view of its Covid-19 business than it had this year.

Revenue from Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine and treatment, which peaked at US$57 billion in 2022, are now expected to be US$8 billion in 2024, a further drop from the US$13 billion analysts’ forecast and Pfizer’s own lowered view of US$12.5 billion for this year.

Pfizer used some of its Covid windfall to acquire companies, including a US$43 billion deal for cancer drugmaker Seagen it expects to close this week, and began selling a new RSV vaccine. But the recent RSV launch has been disappointing, trailing a rival’s shot, and shares have fallen 44% so far this year.

Pfizer now expects annual revenue in the range of US$58.5 billion to US$61.5 billion.

– Reuters

Nokia lowers 2026 profit margin target

Finnish telecom equipment maker Nokia revised down its comparable operating margin target to at least 13% by 2026 from at least 14% previously, after losing a deal with a US telecom carrier.

Nokia said it still sees a path to achieving the previous target, but considering current market conditions in its mobile networks business, it deemed the revision prudent.

The company took a hit after AT&T chose Ericsson to build a telecom network using a new cost-cutting technology called open radio access network (ORAN) that will cover 70% of its wireless traffic in the United States by late 2026.

Separately, Nokia and Deutsche Telekom (DT) announced a deal last week to use ORAN in Germany, marking a return of the Finnish company into DT’s commercial networks.

Nokia in October said it would cut up to 14 000 jobs to reduce costs, warning it did not expect any immediate market recovery after posting a 20% drop in third-quarter sales on weaker demand for 5G equipment.

– Reuters


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