General Electric (GE) will supply power generation equipment to the 300MW West African Energy combined-cycle plant in Cap des Biches, Dakar, the company announced on 28 January. GE will supply two 9E.03 gas turbines, one STF-A200 steam turbine, three A39 generators, and two heat recovery steam generators.
The project is owned by Senegalese company West African Energy, which signed an EPC contract on 3 September 2020 with Calik Enerji and GE (AE 425/6 ). The project will be the largest in Senegal, accounting for about 25% of total power consumed. Commercial operation is expected in phases with first power in 2022.
Chief executive of GE’s gas power business in sub-Saharan Africa Elisee Sezan said that “Cap des Biches power plant in Senegal represents another opportunity to use gas-fired generators as an ideal complement to variable renewable resources because they can change power levels quickly, turn down to low levels when demand is lower, and start rapidly. All these attributes enable gas turbines to work in concert with renewables to maintain reliability in a power system.”
The Africa Finance Corporation provided a loan for project development and is now leading debt syndication for construction. The Islamic Development Bank’s Islamic Corporation for the Insurance of Investment and Export Credit is looking to provide insurance and the African Export-Import Bank has also expressed an interest in supporting the project.
The plant will operate using naphtha before converting to gas when domestic resources become available. Naphtha may be sourced locally - it is a by-product of refining - but Senegalese sources are not sufficiently high grade to achieve maximum efficiencies at the plant, meaning that some or all may be imported at a higher grade. Naphtha will be sourced by the project sponsors whereas Société Nationale d’Electricité du Sénégal (Senelec) will be the bulk buyer for gas following conversion.
Image: West African Energy combined cycle plant. Source: African Energy Live Data
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