Combined-cycle power plant
Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire
Start of Construction
First Grid Synchronisation
6 April 2015
Globeleq and Azito Energie Holding
The 288MW Azito power plant near Abidjan in Côte d’Ivoire is being expanded from a single-cycle to a combined-cycle power plant.
The expansion constitutes the third phase of development for the project and includes the addition of a 138MW unit, which increases the plant’s capacity to 426MW.
The expanded plant is expected to generate 2,723GWh of electricity to be fed to the grid using the existing infrastructure. The combined-cycle plant will offset approximately 400,000t of CO₂ emissions a year from the atmosphere.
The amended concession agreement to expand the Azito power plant was signed on 17 October 2011 by Azito Energie and the Government of Cote d’Ivoire.
Construction of the expansion project started in March 2013, and the first synchronisation of the steam turbine (TAV1) to the national grid was achieved on 6 April 2015. The project is expected to create more than 1,000 jobs during the construction stage.
Developmental phases of Azito power plant
The 1,870MW Gilgel Gibe III (Gibe III) hydroelectric power project is being constructed on the Omo River in Ethiopia’s Southern Nations, Nationalities and People’s Region State (SNNPRS).
The Azito plant is being developed in three phases, under a Build-Own-Operate-Transfer (BOOT) scheme.
The first phase included the installation of a 144MW simple cycle gas turbine, which broke ground in July 1998 and was commissioned in January 1999. The second phase included the addition of a 144MW simple cycle gas turbine, which started operations in February 2000.
The third phase, proposed to expand the plant’s capacity through conversion into combined-cycle, was originally planned for 2002 but was delayed due to a political crisis.
Azito power plant expansion
The power plant is located near Azito village in the Yopougon district, approximately 6km west of the port of Abidjan.
As part of the expansion, the existing plant will be installed with two Alstom GT13E2 gas turbines, two heat recovery steam generators, a 140MW steam turbine generator, one steam condenser with an associated closed loop and an air-cooled cooling water system.
The GT13E2 gas turbine is anticipated to have an operational efficiency of more than 38% in simple-cycle and 53.8% in combined-cycle operations.
This switch from simple-cycle power generation to combined-cycle will increase the overall energy-efficiency rate from 29.5% to 44%. The nominal installed capacity of the facility will increase by 50% at a constant fuel gas consumption rate.
The combined-cycle technology being installed at the plant will make use of the waste heat generated by the existing gas turbine exhausts to produce steam. The steam thus produced will be used to drive the new steam turbine generator, thereby reducing the need for additional fuels to increase the plant’s capacity.
Gas for the power plant is sourced from the Devon fields (Lion/Panthère), the Foxtrot field and the CNR fields (Espoir/Baobab), with Foxtrot field being the primary gas supplier.
The plant also includes an electrical switchyard operated by Compagnie Ivoirienne d’Electricité (CIE), the National Ivorian Electricity Distribution Company.
Azito power plant ownership
The Côte d’Ivoire Government contracted the construction of the Azito thermal power plant in 1998 to Azito Energie, a consortium comprised of Industrial Promotion Services West Africa (IPS-WA), ABB and Electricité de France (EDF).
In 2010, Globeleq acquired ABB’s and EDF’s shares in the project to become a shareholder of the plant along with IPS-WA, an institution of the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development. IPS-WA holds a share in the plant through its subsidiary Azito Energie Holding.
Azito Operations and Management (Azito O&M), a subsidiary of Azito Energie Holding, is operating and maintaining the plant under an operations and maintenance agreement between Azito O&M and Azito Energie.
Financing of Azito power plant expansion
The expansion project, estimated to cost approximately $450m, is mostly funded by lenders, including the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and European development finance institutions led by Proparco and BOAD. IFC provided a $125m loan for the project in addition to acting as the lead global arranger of debt financing.
Globeleq and Azito Energie Holding provided equity finance for the power plant expansion.
Construction of the expansion
Major works included the placement of nearly 330 foundation piles for the construction of major equipment and other buildings, along with foundations for the heat recovery boilers.
Offtake of power from Azito power plant expansion
The existing Azito facility supplies more than one-third of the essential electricity to the country through the privately-owned electricity company CIE for transmission to the national grid.
The surplus electricity generated from the expansion project will be sold to CIE through a 20-year concession.
Hyundai Engineering and Construction is the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor and is responsible for the design, construction and commissioning of the expansion project on a turnkey basis. General Electric (GE) supplied the steam turbine for the combined-cycle unit.