DAKAR May 16 (Reuters) - South Korean power firm KEPCO has signed a deal to build a 250 megawatt coal-fired plant in Senegal, part of the West Africa state's efforts to cut reliance on oil- and diesel-fired generation, public utility Senelec said on Thursday.
"The KEPCO project alone will provide half of Senegal's energy needs and will cost 300 billion CFA francs ($588 million)," Senelec said in a statement.
The plant will comprise two units of 125 megawatts and will be located 30 km (19 miles) west of the Senegalese capital Dakar at Bargny Sendou. It will take 54 months to complete.
President Macky Sall's government wants coal to make up 25 percent of Senegal's energy mix by 2017.
In 2012, some 85 percent of Senegal's energy came from oil and diesel-fired plants, 11 percent came from hydroelectric power and 3 percent from gas.
Senegal has a huge deficit in energy production and has been forced to spend heavily on subsidising power due to its high production costs. ($1 = 509.9960 CFA francs) (Reporting By Diadie Ba; Editing by Daniel Flynn and Jane Merriman)