Niger’s New Solar Projects Pave the Way for a Diversified Energy Mix

The African Energy Chamber (AEC) lauds the recent inking between Savannah Energy Niger Solar Limited, a subsidiary of British independent energy company Savannah Energy, and the Government of Niger on the development of two solar photovoltaic power plants with a combined capacity of up to 200 MW. In this significant development for Niger’s energy sector, H.E. Ibrahim Yacoubou, Minister of State for Energy and Renewable Energies, Catherine Inglehearn, British Ambassador to the Republic of Niger and Yacine Wafy, Vice President West Africa of Savannah, gathered in Niamey on May 10, to concretize this groundbreaking deal.

The plants are set to be located approximately within 20km of Maradi and Zinder in southern Niger, with an installed capacity of between 50 MW and 100 MW, for a total potential installed capacity of up to 200 MW. These Solar Projects are expected to significantly increase the country’s grid-connected power generation by over 20%, providing reliable and affordable energy to all. Additionally, the solar plants are set to reduce annual CO2 emissions by an estimated 260, 000 tons.

The Solar Projects will be linked to the South-Central area of Niger’s electricity grid, with plans to interconnect it with the Western grid zone, serving Niamey

The Solar Projects will be linked to the South-Central area of Niger’s electricity grid, with plans to interconnect it with the Western grid zone, serving Niamey, by 2026 through a project funded by the World Bank. Once the necessary feasibility studies are completed within the next year, the Solar Projects are anticipated to receive project approval in 2024, with the first power generation targeted between 2025 and 2026. Savannah plans to finance the initiative through a combination of its own generated cashflows and project-specific debt.

The partnership between Savannah Energy and Niger epitomizes the value of collaborations in Africa’s energy sector. It serves as a shining example of how the synergy between resource-rich African nations and private companies can yield exceptional project developments. This successful endeavour highlights the transformative impact that signing such deals can have in driving forward the energy landscape and fostering sustainable growth in the region.

Meanwhile, Savannah Energy has already taken noteworthy strides in Niger, with the recent signing in March 2022 (https://apo-opa.info/3O6CPnz) for the construction and operation of the country’s first wind farm, as well as an MoU signed in 2018 for a proposed Early Production Scheme utilizing crude oil resources in the Agadem Rift Basin, Southeast of Niger. These developments not only underscore Savannah Energy’s active role in Niger but also exemplify their dedication to driving diversified and sustainable energy solutions in the region.

“Through the signing of this MoU between Savannah Energy and the government of Niger, we show our strong support for this collaboration that holds immense potential for Niger’s energy sector. The Chamber recognizes the significance of diversifying the energy mix, thus the development of new solar initiatives marks a significant step forward. This partnership has the power to transform Niger’s energy landscape, enhancing access to reliable and affordable electricity while reducing carbon emissions. We commend Savannah Energy for their constant involvement in Niger and the government of Niger for their shared vision with Savannah to drive sustainable development in the country’s energy sector,” states NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman of the African Energy Chamber.

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