The Republic of Togo in West Africa has taken delivery of a Siemens gas turbine for its first gas-fired combined cycle power plant. When operational, the 65MW Kékéli plant in the capital of Lomé will meet 40% of the electricity needs of the country.
Although the turbine was made in Sweden, and the plant is being built by Spain’s TSK Group, the project illustrates the growing sophistication of Africa’s financial and industrial sectors.
The Kékéli plant is being developed by the Pan-African industrial group Eranove, and was financed entirely by African financial institutions, led by regional funders Oragroup and the West African Development Bank.Â Â
The $120m project, begun last year, is part of Togo’s National Development Plan, which aims to fully electrify the country by 2030 (see further reading).Â
In 2018, only 45% of the country was covered, and in 2017 it was calculated that electricity provided about 6% of the energy used in the homes, with the remainder coming from firewood, charcoal and petroleum derivatives.
At present most electricity in the country is generated from heavy fuel oil. When it begins work later this year, the Kékéli plant will produce about 20% less carbon dioxide per watt generated.Â
In the second stage of the scheme, scheduled for October next year, a steam turbine with a capacity of 18MW will be added.
Eranove Group, which will run and maintain the plant, has raised about $3bn in investment funds for similar schemes around sub-Saharan Africa, and has other projects under way in CÃ´te d’Ivoire, Gabon, Madagascar and Mali.
Marcus Nelle, Siemens’ senior vice president of sales for Africa, commented: "We are proud to be following through on our commitment to the people of Togo to provide affordable and reliable power sources while also moving toward an environmentally sustainable and financially accessible baseload energy production."
Photograph: Traffic on the Blvd des Armee, Lomé, Togo (BenSim77/CC BY-SA 4.0)