December 28, 2016 / 4:49 PM / 3 years ago

Ivory Coast signs deal for construction of two 350 MW power plants

ABIDJAN (Reuters) - Ivory Coast will build two 350 megawatt (MW) charcoal power stations in the western cocoa town of San Pedro by 2021 to address growing national demand for electricity, the government said on Wednesday.

Ivory Coast, the world’s top cocoa grower, has emerged from a decade-long political crisis as one of Africa’s rising economic stars, but rapid growth has strained power supplies.

Government spokesman Bruno Kone told reporters in Abidjan that one plant was scheduled for completion in 2020 and the second in 2021.

He did not say how much they would cost but did say that the Ivorian firm S.Energies would have to raise money for the project.

With electricity demand increasing by about 10 percent each year, the Ivorian government is pushing for investments to double output to 4,000 MW by 2020.

China Energy Engineering Corporation is leading construction of the 500 million euro ($520 million) Songon power station, whose two gas and one steam turbine will produce 372 MW of power.

Ivory Coast exports power to several of its neighbors and plans to begin supplying electricity to Guinea and Sierra Leone within three years.

Reporting by Loucoumane Coulibaly; Editing by Kevin Liffey

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