The Eranove Group has signed a 30-year concession agreement with the government of the Republic of Mali to finance, develop, build and operate the 42 MW Kenié hydroelectric power project.
The agreement, effective as of June 18th, was signed through a new subsidiary of Eranove: Kenié Energie Renouvelable.
The signing of the concession agreement comes after several years of cooperation between the Republic of Mali's Ministry of Energy and Water and IFC InfraVentures, a member of the World Bank Group. Working together, these institutions conducted preliminary feasibility studies followed by an international call for tenders, which resulted in the selection of the Eranove Group as a strategic partner. IFC InfraVentures also holds shares in Kenié Energie Renouvelable.
The 42 MW hydroelectric dam, which represents a total investment cost of roughly US$125 million, will be located 35 km east of Bamako in Baguinéda on the Niger River. Initial simulations suggest that the site could produce approximately 175 GWh, powering around 175,000 households.
According to the current project schedule, construction is due to begin in 2016 and the site should commence operation in 2020. The dam will then be operated under a concession agreement by Kenié Energie Renouvelable.
Marc Albérola, CEO of the Eranove Group, has commented:
"With an estimated potential of 400,000 MW, hydroelectric power is one renewable energy source that is in abundant supply in Africa. As part of the regional integration of power transmission networks, hydro-electricity can play a key role in increasing power generation capacity.
And we mustn't forget micro and pico hydro-electricity either. These small hydroelectric facilities can supply power to villages or groups of villages in remote areas far away from interconnected transmission systems. Hydro-electricity is a renewable and competitive source of power in terms of production costs, and could even play a role in the financial balancing of power sectors and in meeting demand. This would prove hugely beneficial both for local populations and for regional industrial development."
The signing of the concession agreement is an important move for the Republic of Mali. According to World Bank estimates, the country's current installed power capacity of roughly 414 MW covers only half of potential demand. Projects such as the 42 MW Kenié hydroelectric facility will enable Mali to make better use of its hydroelectric potential and thus reduce its dependence on imported hydrocarbons.
In addition to its operations in Mali, the Eranove Group has a large existing presence in Côte d'Ivoire. Operating over 1,100 MW of power generation facilities, the company accounts for almost 70% of the country's installed capacity.