Close to US$ 50M has been received for the implementation of the 30 MWp Dekemhare Solar Power Plant project in Eritrea. This comes barely a month after the government of the East African country signed a protocol agreement with African Development Bank (AfDB) for the project.
Of the total amount, AfDB is providing US$ 19.5M, while the rest, US$ 39.42M is coming from the Transition Support Facility. According to the bank, Eritrea’s government is the beneficiary of the grant. The Ministry of Energy and Mines on the other hand is responsible for its implementation.
How the funds will be utilized
Part of this funding will go towards the design and construction of the 30-MW solar farm with a 15-MW/30-MWh BESS. In addition, this phase of the project will also include the construction of a 33/66 kV substation and a 66-kV transmission line. The latter will be connected to an existing transmission line between East Asmara and Dekemhare.
The second portion of the grant will facilitate technical assistance and capacity building. This is in support of the country’s power company Eritrea Electricity Corporation (EEC) and the Ministry of Environment. Particularly the technical assistance and capacity building will concern matters related to solar PV and battery systems, grid planning and design, and other energy sector affairs.
Tender floated for Dekemhare Solar Power Plant project in Eritrea
A tender to select a consultant to help in the development of the 30 MWp Dekemhare Solar Power Plant, is being launched by Eritrea, and the African Development Bank (AfDB).
The consultant is required to support the relevant authorities at all project stages, particularly during the tendering process and contract negotiations. Aside from supervising the construction projects, the consultant will also take part in the project’s review. It is said that the consultant will approve detailed designs, EPC contractor construction work, and technical reports.
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The consultant’s roles will extend beyond the phase of development. The roles will include factory acceptance testing (FAT) for major equipment components. He or she will oversee the E&S Management Plan’s (ESMP) implementation. The contract will also include the development of the project’s executing agency’s capacity as well as the monitoring, control, and incorporation of solar energy forecasts into daily dispatch schedules. It will also involve the operation and maintenance of solar PV and battery storage systems.
The Dekemhare Solar Power Plant
The 30 MWp solar PV plant will be set up outside of Dekemhare, in the Debub area. The town is 40 kilometers to the southeast of Asmara, Eritrea’s capital.
To stabilize the grid of the state-owned Eritrean Electricity Corporation (EEC), the plant is expected to be connected to a battery power storage system. A 66 kV substation and a 500 m transmission line are additional projects the Eritrean government is looking to establish.
The project is part of Asmara’s strategy to diversify its electricity mix. The nation of East Africa is 90% dependent on fossil fuels, especially diesel, for the generation of electricity. This is according to the 2015 analysis of the International Energy Agency (IEA).