Chinese companies help ease power shortage in Africa

China and African counties have been increasingly cooperating in the electric power sector in the recent years and a group of large projects are ready to be launched or put into operation, which has played a significant role in easing power shortage in Africa and contribute in local economic growth.

--Chinese consortium to build Nigeria’s “Three Gorges project”

A Chinese consortium led by China Gezhouba Group Corp. (CGGC), the main builder of the Three Gorges project signed a contract with the Nigerian government on November 10 to build a hydropower project valued at 5.792 billion U.S. dollars.

The Mambilla hydropower project is the largest infrastructure project in Nigeria and also the largest hydropower plant Chinese firms have ever built overseas.

As the most populous country and the second-largest economy in Africa, shortage of power and outdated electricity infrastructure have distressed Nigeria’s industrial development.

The consortium includes CGGC, Sinohydro Corp. Ltd. and CGCOC Group Co. Ltd, with stakes of 45 percent, 35 percent and 20 percent, respectively.

The power station is located at Taraba state and is 520-kilometer southeast of Nigeria’s capital Abuja. The project is designed to take advantage of the 1000-meter drop of Mambillia plateau.

The project, expected to be completed in 87 months, involves building four dams and installing 12 generators totaling 3,050 megawatts. Upon completion, it will be capable of generating about 4.7 billion kilowatt hours of electricity a year.

Meanwhile, the reservoir of the project is able to adjust water supply, which can provide reliable water resources for local irrigation and residents’ living.

Other construction work includes 1,295 kilometers of transmission lines and 184 kilometers of access roads.

The project will ease the power shortage and become a reliable water source for local residents and farmland in the African country, CGGC said, adding that the project's builders will employ 5,000 to 8,000 local workers and train 1,000 managerial and technical personnel.

In addition, the project is expected to benefit development of local building material industry, manufacturing industry and service industry and indirectly create 30,000 to 50,000 jobs.

-- China-manufactured generators installed in Eritrea

The inauguration ceremony of the Massawa Hirgigo power plant expansion project was held in the coastal city ofEritrea on November 15.

The project is financed by the Import-Export Bank of China and undertaken by Shanghai (Group) Corporation for Foreign Economic & Technological Cooperation (China SFECO Group).

The power plant was initially put into production in 2001, with four generators of 22 megawatts capacity each. It mainly provides electricity to the capital Asmara and provincial capital cities including Massawa and Keren.

However, the generators have been worn down and in disrepair, with only one or two still working and generating capacity less than 30 megawatts. Even in the capital, electricity is supplied for six to eight hours in a day at the most and electric cut-offs could last for days. Therefore, Massawa Hirgigo Power Plant expansion project constitutes a new monument for boosting Eritrean people's well-being.

Approved by the governments of China and Eritrea, the expansion project kicked off in May of 2015, with 98 million U.S. dollars loan provided by the China EximBank.

This project, which took 2 years for installing 2 sets of generators manufactured in China, with each having generating capacity of 23 megawatts, will increase Eritrea's overall power generating capacity by 46 megawatts. This project will serve people's work and daily life in the cities of Massawa and Asmara.

Eritrean officials believe the Hirgigo power expansion project is also a new example of China-Eritrea pragmatic cooperation and common development. It is a concrete accomplishment under the framework of “China-Africa Ten Cooperation Plans” and it will play a significant role in the enhancement of sustainable development capabilities of Eritrea.

--Chinese wind power firm promotes clean energy in Africa

The Longyuan Mulilo De Aar Wind Power Project started operation in De Aar, Northern Cape Province, South Africa, on November 17. It is the first wind power project covering investment, construction and operation undertook by a Chinese state-owned company in Africa.

The project uses turbines made by China Guodian United Power Technology Co., Ltd. and Longyuan SA, a company under China Guodian Group, built and operates the project.

Longyuan SA and its partner from South Africa Mulilo Group of Companies signed a cooperation agreement and established an office for the project as early as in 2009. However, they went through strict environment assessment and other preparation procedures. The project had not started until 20 months ago.

The project includes 163 sets of wind power generators with 240 megawatts of installed capacity, the largest one of its kind in South Africa.

The power plant generates 600 million kwh of green power for South Africa each year, meeting the electricity demand of 85,000 local residents.

This is equivalent to saving 215,800 tons of standard coal and emission reduction of 619,900 tons of carbon dioxide. The project makes a positive contribution to the local energy structure and the economic development.

The company is also actively undertaking its social obligations through extensive procurement of local equipment and employment of local people. The wind power project is currently employing more than 1,000 local people.

Moreover, Longyuan SA announced the donation of 500,000 rand (about 37,000 U.S. dollars) to local schools at the launch ceremony.

This project not only bodes well for the local community but also contributes the the rapidly growing cooperation between South Africa and China, said Johnny Cullum, CEO of Mulilo Group.

Editor: liuyue
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