Ivory Coast Is Said to Near $530 Million Thermal-Power Deal

(Bloomberg) -- Ivory Coast is close to completing a deal with the local unit of France’s Eranove SA for the construction of a thermal-power plant that could expand the country’s generation capacity by almost a fifth, according to two people familiar with the matter.

The 300 billion CFA franc ($530 million) gas-fired facility will be owned by Cie Ivoirienne de Production d’Electricite, known as Ciprel and operator of the West African nation’s biggest electricity plant, said the people, who asked not to be identified because they’re not authorized to speak publicly about the matter. The plant’s envisaged capacity is 350 to 400 megawatts and it will probably be based in Jacqueville, 61 kilometers (38 miles) southwest of the commercial capital, Abidjan, near the country’s offshore gas fields, said the people.

Ciprel has contracted Siemens AG and Spain’s TSK Electronica y Electricidad SA to help build and supply components for the plant, said the people. Construction is likely to begin by the end of the year, they said.

Surplus Requirements

Spokesmen for the government and Ciprel didn’t answer calls seeking comment. Siemens is in talks about combined-cycle power projects in Ivory Coast, a spokesman said in an emailed response to questions, without elaborating further. TSK didn’t answer calls at its Gijon offices in northern Spain when contacted on a public holiday.

Ivory Coast is expanding its generation capacity even as the nation increasingly exports surplus requirements to neighboring countries such as Ghana, Burkina Faso and Liberia. Large investments in infrastructure have helped to accelerate Ivory Coast’s annual average economic growth to more than 8 percent since 2012.

The country’s installed capacity is about 2,200 megawatts, while peak demand reached 1,148 megawatts in 2014, according to the World Bank. Ciprel’s existing gas-fired plant in Abidjan produces 556 megawatts of power.

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