General Electric to provide energy access solutions in West Africa

Jack Unwin 4 April 2019 (Last Updated April 9th, 2019 12:07)

GE Renewable Power has announced that it has signed deals to build new energy systems in Benin and upgrade three substations in Ivory Coast.       

General Electric to provide energy access solutions in West Africa
GE Renewable Power to build and upgrade energy systems in Benin and Ivory Coast. Credit: GE Renewable Power

General Electric’s (GE) Renewable Power division has announced that it has signed deals to build new energy systems in Benin and upgrade three substations in Ivory Coast.

In Benin GE Renewables will design and supply the country’s first Advanced Distribution and Management System (ADMS) for the Société Béninoise d’Energie Electrique (SBEE) to manage Benin’s electricity supply, 85% of which is imported from other countries.

The ADMS will use algorithms and predictive analysis to help operate the grid efficiently and use automation. It will also predict issues that may arise and identify faults on Benin’s grid.

GE will also repair substations and telecommunication infrastructure at the national distribution control centre in the coastal city of Cotonou.

Benin is particularly focused on improving its energy network, and the government has set up the Millennium Challenge Account-Benin II (MCA Benin II) department, established to manage the US Millennium Challenge Corporation grant given to the country.

MCA Benin II national coordinator Gabriel Dégbègni said: “The ADMS will help optimise energy distribution, reduce electricity losses and minimise shortages.

“This project is aligned with the government’s ambition to efficiently manage the generation from power plants, microgrids and other grid infrastructure to improve the quality, efficiency and availability of power to our customers.”

In Ivory Coast GE will repair and expand three 225kv substations, firstly in the north of the country, at Ferke, in the east at Man and also in Taabo in the centre of Ivory Coast, to improve the electricity supply in these areas.

State-owned energy company CI-Energies secretary general Bile Tanoe said: “With about 90% of the country’s population having access to electricity and the growing demand for energy, limited distribution systems cause a total energy loss of approximately 20% annually. There is a need to rehabilitate and strengthen the country’s grid infrastructure.

“This project will improve the power capacities of Ferke, Man and Taabo substations to help mitigate total energy losses and provide the reliability needed to limit the total unavailability of these critical substations.”

GE Renewable Energy CEO of grid solutions business in Sub-Saharan Africa Lazarus Angbazo added: “Energy is a key component for on-going development in Sub-Saharan Africa. With only 45% of electrification rates in many countries in the region, it is critical to develop an end-to-end solution to increase energy access and foster economic development.

“These projects reinforce GE’s involvement in implementing key infrastructure for energy transmission and interconnection development in Africa through smart solutions and turnkey project expertise.”