A solar plant near El Salvador, in the Atacama desert, northern Chile (AFP Photo/Vladimir Rodas)
Dakar (AFP) – Mali has signed an agreement with a Norwegian renewable energy specialist to build west Africa’s first industrial-scale solar power plant, the company announced in a statement on Friday.
Oslo-based Scatec Solar said it had signed up to build the 52 million-euro ($58 million) unit near the southwestern city of Segou and run it for 25 years.
“This landmark agreement signals the government’s commitment to meet the nation’s growing energy demand and to provide clean, renewable and affordable energy to our people,” energy minister Mamadou Frankaly Keita was quoted as saying.
The plant is expected to produce enough electricity each year to power 60,000 typical family homes, while cutting annual carbon dioxide emissions by about 46,000 tonnes.
Mali, a volatile, conflict-hit country of over 16 million people, has been plagued in recent years by chronic electricity outages.
The government reported last year that the country, which is almost two-thirds desert, had managed to supply just 45 percent of its electricity demand in 2013.
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