星期二, 九月 29, 2020
Home PV News North America Solar and hydropower to rescue São Tome and Príncipe from crisis of...

Solar and hydropower to rescue São Tome and Príncipe from crisis of troubled utility

The United Nations Development Program is seeking consultants to build a 2 MW solar project and three hydropower plants ranging in generation capacity from 1.15-2 MW.

Source:pv magazine

The United Nations Development Program is seeking consultants to conduct feasibility studies for a 2 MW solar project and three mini hydropower plants ranging in size from 1.15-2 MW in São Tomé and Principe.

The facilities, which will be a mix of grid connected and off-grid assets, are intended to improve power supply in the West African island nation.

The $1 million studies will be financed by the UN’s Green Climate Fund. Consultants have until Wednesday to offer their services for the tender.

The African Development Bank says São Tomé & Príncipe has an electricity access rate of around 70% and installed power generation capacity of 35 MW, some 95% of which comes from thermal power. Of that theoretical capacity, however, only 58% is available, due to ageing generation assets and lack of maintenance.

Utility crisis

The Macauhub website which reports on relations between China and Portuguese-speaking countries quoted Celestino Andrade, MD of São Tomé & Príncipe state-owned utility EMAE as describing his electric company as “technically insolvent and [in] need [of] urgent restructuring.”

The International Monetary Fund this month reported the island’s energy crisis is partly responsible for its tough economic situation. “In 2018, growth slid to 2.7%, reflecting declining foreign inflows, energy shortages and political uncertainty,” stated the organization, adding: “higher prices for fuel and fish and vegetables drove inflation to 9%; and international reserves declined by $16 million. The authorities agree that it is critical to reform EMAE, which only pays a fraction of its oil supply bill. To ensure the country’s energy security and curb the accumulation of new debt, the management improvement plan at EMAE and the least-cost development plan should be implemented expeditiously, with the support of the World Bank, to reduce losses, particularly through expanding renewable energy production.”

Macauhub reported the monopoly-holding utility owes around $140 million to national fuel and oil company ENCO and $80 million to other suppliers and spends $2 million per month on 2.2 million liters of fuel for its interconnected and isolated power plants.

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