United Kingdom-based developer Globeleq and the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development-owned Industrial Promotion Services (West Africa) announced on 7 March that they have signed an amended concession agreement with the Ivorian government for a 250MW expansion to the Azito gas power plant near Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. Financial close is expected in June 2019.
Alongside the expansion, a technical upgrade being implemented this year will add 30MW to the existing 430MW, meaning that the expanded facility will generate 710MW, around 30% of Côte d’Ivoire’s installed capacity.
“The signing of this amended concession agreement between Azito and the government of Côte d’Ivoire is an important step in our programme for electricity generation”, Côte d’Ivoire’s petroleum, energy and renewable energy minister Abdourahmane Cisse said. “This step is specifically crucial to answer the growth of electricity demand which has been estimated at about 10%. The Ivorian government is also working on several other projects which will enable us to reach the objective set up by President Alassane Ouattara, which is to achieve 4,000MW in 2020”.
Cisse approved plans for both the Azito expansion and the 390MW Compagnie Ivoirienne de Production d’Electricité (Ciprel) phase V last month, soon after his appointment as minister following the dismissal of Thierry Tanoh (AE 385/1). In December, the Africa Finance Corporation closed a €149.6m bridging loan for the 44MW Singrobo-Ahouaty hydropower project intended to fast-track construction of the plant, which is expected to begin in Q2 (AE 385/5). Development work is ongoing at several other hydropower projects.
Plans to add 400MW of solar and biomass capacity have been slower. No solar projects are currently operating or being built, although nearly 50MW of biomass capacity is online, according to African Energy Live Data.
Globeleq chief executive Paul Hanrahan said, “We have been active in Côte d’Ivoire together with our partners IPS for more than 15 years. The Azito phase IV tariff is one of the lowest of the country’s thermal power producers and enables multiple synergies by using existing infrastructure and the expertise of the existing operational team. The Azito power plant will become one of the most reliable and efficient thermal power generation facilities in the region.”
The company is also making headway at its 400MW Temane gas power project in Mozambique, where a World Bank Group (WBG) programme to finance construction of a 560km 400kV single-circuit transmission line and three 400kV substations, as well as the expansion of Maputo substation, has entered its public disclosure period. The project will go to the WBG board in June. Financing for the transmission line is an essential milestone for the development of the power plant.
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