The government of Mali has announced that the 50MW Kita solar power plant being built by the French company, Akuo Energy, is nearing completion and will be inaugurated in February 2020.
While leading a delegation to Western Mali to visit the solar project site and access the progress, Sambou Wagué, Mali’s Minister of Energy and Water, noted that works on the project were progressing well and that he was optimistic the project will be completed as scheduled.
The Kita solar power project
The project has offered employment to 450 people and is progressing on two fronts. The first phase involves the installation of the solar park, which involves the installation of the feet on which the solar panels will be fixed, and the construction of the electricity evacuation station. The second part of the project involves the connection of the solar photovoltaic power plant.
According to the Minister, the work on site could be completed by October 2019, and the connection effected in December 2019, followed by the testing and then the commissioning of the power plant in February 2020.
The solar park will cover an area of 100 hectares with all the 187,000 solar panels and inverters producing 50MW. Power generated from the plant will be supplied to more than 91,700 Malian households. The Kita solar park is also expected to reduce emissions of more than 51,700 tonnes of CO2 per year.
Financing of the project
Akuo Energy is developing the project under the build-own-operate and transfer (Boot) model, a specific form of public-private partnership. A total of US $86m has been spent on the project with Akuo Energy covering most of the budget, with the help of its partners: the West African Development Bank (BOAD) and Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (EAIF) managed by Investec Asset Management. The Netherlands Development Finance Corporation (FMO), the National Bank for Agricultural Development of Mali (BNDA), Green Africa Power (GAP) and GuarantCo also participated in the financing of the project.