French consortium to lead Madagascar’s largest hydroelectric project
Image: Oeil d’Afrique
A framework agreement was signed last Tuesday between the government of Madagascar and a consortium comprising construction giant Eiffage, utility company Eranove and corporate bank Themis; for the construction of Madagascar’s largest hydroelectric project.
Madagascar President, Andry Rajoelina, met with French business association, Mouvement des Entreprises en France, hoping to attract investments and partnerships to accelerate the island’s development. During the ceremony, President Rajoelina stated that France was Madagascar’s largest export country and investor – outside of the mining sector.
“Since independence from France in 1960, Madagascar’s energy production barely reached 400 MW, mostly fossil fuels. Electricity is a luxury product in Madagascar,” President Rajoelina stated.
He added that just 15 percent of the population has access to power, which is among the most expensive in Africa, between $0.33 and $0.45 per kilowatt-hour.
Renewable energy development is a key priority for the island country. Authorities aim to double capacity while reducing the cost of energy by three or four-fold. Pertaining to that objective, a framework agreement was signed at the end of the ceremony between the Ministry of Energy and Hydrocarbons and the consortium New Hydroelectric Energy of Onive, bringing together Eiffage, Eranove and Themis.
Located 100km south of the capital city Antananarivo, on the Onive river, the plant will produce 1,500 gigawatt-hours (GWh) per year, enough to feed energy to circa two million homes. Total installed capacity will reach 200 megawatts (MW).
Tas Anvaripour, managing director of Themis, who is financing the project, stated: “The project will reduce shortage on the Antananarivo power grid and meet the country’s increasing demand in electricity across the country, estimated between 2,300 and 3,300 GWh per year.”
The consortium will be in charge of the full range of operations, which include preliminary studies, financing, construction, commissioning, and maintenance. Works will begin in 2020 with the first production set to start in 2024.
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