A 20MW solar photovoltaic power plant is set to be built in Guinea-Bissau. This is after the project tender was awarded to china’s Sinohydro Corporation. The contract was signed with Société Africaine des Biocarburants et des Energies Renouvelables (SABER)/African Biofuel and Renewable Energy Company (ABREC), a company promoting the introduction of renewable energies and energy efficiency in Africa.
The government of Guinea-Bissau in March 2019 ordered the company to draw up the tender documents, oversee the launch of the tender and selection of competitors. The solar plant will be located in Gardete, 8km from the capital Bissau and is being financed by the West African Development Bank at a tune of US $42.9m. It will also be covered by the programme for the Exploration of Renewable Energy Sources (Prover) of Guinea-Bissau.
Power produced by the plant dubbed ‘Gardete plant’ will be injected into the national grid through a 30Kv transmission line and the Bor sub-station which will be constructed. In addition, two mini-solar power plants of 1MW each will be built in Gabu and in Canchungo.
With a population estimated at 1.86 million people, Guinea-Bissau has one of the lowest rates of electrification in all of Africa, with vast areas of its territory having no access to electricity, while biomass accounts for approximately 95% of the energy consumed in the country.
The total production of electricity in the country currently is 13 ktoe with all of it produced from fossil fuels. Only a small proportion of the population outside the capital has access to public electricity supply which they receive on part time basis. Rural areas have 21.5% access.