Mali launches with Russia the construction of a vast solar power plant

Mali launches with Russia the construction of a vast solar power plant
Mali launches with Russia the construction of a vast solar power plant

The photovoltaic solar power plant with a capacity of 200 MW, which will extend over 314 hectares in Sanankoroba, near Bamako, is supposed to increase national electricity production by 10%, according to Grigory Nazarov, director of Novawind, a subsidiary of the agency. Russian Atomic Energy Agency (Rosatom) in charge of construction.

This plant, “the first (in size) in the country and even in the sub-region”, “will make it possible to significantly reduce the electricity shortage currently present in the country”, declared the Minister of Energy Bintou Camara on national television ORTM.

The work, worth more than 200 million euros, should last a year, said Mr. Nazarov, but the minister assured that the first beneficiaries would receive electricity “after four months”.

The plant is designed for “stable operation for 20 years” and will come “under the total control of the Malian Ministry of Energy” after 10 years, according to Mr. Nazarov.

Malian electricity production comes 70% from thermal, which is extremely expensive and weighs heavily on the financial balance of the Société Énergie du Mali (EDM-SA), declared the Malian Minister of the Economy Alousséni Sanou, during the signing of the memorandum of understanding with Novawind in March.

This plant “represents a significant step towards the diversification of the Malian energy mix and the reduction of its dependence on fossil fuels”, indicated the presidency.

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Burdened by a debt of more than 200 billion FCFA (around 300 million euros), Mali’s national energy company is no longer able to provide electricity coverage for the capital and other localities in the country.

The launch of the construction, by Chinese and Emirati companies, of two other solar power plants near Bamako is also planned, on May 28 and June 1, for a total capacity of 200 MW.

“Our minimum need is 500 MW and if we already manage to produce 350 MW in the form of renewable energy”, added to the rest of the national electricity production, this will “enable us to largely cover the needs of Mali in 2025”, he said. assured Malian Minister of the Economy Alousséni Sanou on ORTM.

The colonels who took power by force in Bamako in 2020 broke the historic alliance with Paris and made Russia their privileged political and military partner.

Beyond solar energy, Mali and Russia signed a cooperation agreement last October to develop civil nuclear power.

By Le360 Africa (with AFP)

05/24/2024 at 7:10 p.m.

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