CORRECTED-Guinea to buy electricity from UK's Aggreko to stem power cuts

Wed Aug 7, 2013 1:47pm EDT

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(Corrects name of power plant in last paragraph to Tombo 3 from Tombo 33)

CONAKRY Aug 7 (Reuters) - Guinea will buy emergency electricity from British power provider Aggreko in a bid to stem rolling power cuts that have led to street protests, the West African nation's electricity firm said.

The six-month deal for 50 megawatts of power, ahead of parliamentary elections due on Sept. 24, will cost Guinea $10 million and buy the government time to fix other thermal and hydro power stations, said Nava Toure, managing director of state power firm EDG.

"Given the unresolved technical problems we have, the only viable solution at the moment is to hire additional capacity," Toure told Reuters in an interview late on Tuesday.

Aggreko provides power in other countries in the region, including Senegal, Niger, Cameroon and Ivory Coast, from mobile generators.

Rolling power cuts have led to street protests, adding to simmering tensions over a long-delayed parliamentary vote that is meant to complete Guinea's return to civilian rule.

Guinea's Tombo 3 thermal power plant has broken down while water levels at the Garafiri and Samou hydro-electric dams are not high enough to maintain power supply, Toure said. (Reporting by Saliou Samb; Writing by David Lewis; Editing by Louise Ireland, Daniel Flynn and David Holmes)

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