Chad announces 120 MW solar project

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The Republic of Chad has announced president Idriss Déby Itno has met representatives of UAE-based renewable energy developer Amea Power to discuss the details of a 120 MW solar project the company is proposing to build near the Chadian capital, N’Djamena.

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.

As announced by Amea on its Twitter account, a memorandum of understanding for the project was signed by its chairman, Hussain Nowais, and Chad’s minister of petroleum and energy, Mahamat Hamid Koua.

A similar agreement was signed in July with another UAE-based company, Almaden Emirates Fortune Power LLC. That agreement related to construction of a solar park with a capacity of 200-400 MW.

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.

On the top of those two projects, there is 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.