October 25, 2018 / 3:00 PM / 22 days ago

Ivory Coast to invest in smart grid to boost power exports

ABIDJAN, Oct 25 (Reuters) - Ivory Coast will invest 40 million euros in a smart power grid in a bid to boost electricity exports to neighbouring countries, an official said on Thursday, as they fell by 26 percent last year to 1,225 gigawatt hours (GWh).

The smart grid, an electricity network based on digital technology, is expected to provide better information on the West African market and help target consumers’ needs in order to boost exports.

“We are investing in digital because we want a smart network for an optimum management of electricity exports to neighbouring countries and because of the constant growth of the local demand,” the director of power sector management agency CI-Energies Amidou Traore told a press conference.

“There is a growing West African market for electricity. Ivory Coast wants to have a major part in it,” Traore added.

Ivory Coast has a more reliable power supply than many countries in the region and exports electricity to Ghana, Burkina Faso, Benin, Togo and Mali.

Financed by the European Investment Bank and lead by China’s Machinery Engineering Corp, France’s General Electric Grid Solution and Switzerland’s ABB Group, the project will be based in the capital Yamoussoukro and should start operating in 2020.

Ivory Coast’s power capacity is currently at 2,200 megawatts, but the country is planning to reach a target of 4,000 MW by 2020 as several power projects are in progress in addition to the smart grid. (Reporting by Loucoumane Coulibaly; Editing by Juliette Jabkhiro and David Evans)

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