The Republic of Chad in partnership with UAE-based renewable energy developer Amea Power is planning to build a 120 MW solar farm near the Chadian capital, N’Djamena. An MOU was signed last week on the 1st February 2019 by Amea’s chairman, Hussain Nowais, and Chad’s minister of petroleum and energy, Mahamat Hamid Koua.
Chad’s government said the project would be developed in two phases and will strengthen the power network of state-owned utility Société Nationale d’Électricité. “Clear instructions were given by the president of the republic for the completion of the project,” said Amea Power’s Astria Fataki.
The central African nation has turned to independent power producers to address a national power deficit and poor electrification rate. Only around 1.4 million people among Chad’s 14.4 million population have access to electricity – making for one of the world’s poorest electrification rates. According to the U.S. Agency for International Development, the landlocked nation has just 125 MW of generation capacity – mostly diesel and heavy fuel oil – which primarily serves N’Djamena. If built, the two proposed solar schemes would more than triple Chad’s generation capacity.
The UAE has started to develop quite a foothold in Chad, as UAE-based Almaden Emirates Fortune Power signed off on an agreement with the Chadian government back in July 2018 to develop a PV project with a generation capacity between 200-400MW.
In addition, a consortium including InfraCo Africa and Smart Energies International signed a 25-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with the Chad’s national utility La Société Nationale d’Electricité (SNE) for a 60MW solar project in August.
There is also another 32 MW solar facility under development by a consortium including NewSolar Invest, engineering group CIEC Monaco, and infrastructure and renewable energy financier Arborescence Capital. The Starsol plant, set to supply electricity to the capital, has been backed by the African Development Bank.
Author: Bryan Groenendaal