The African Chamber of Energy (ACE) has announced the recent signing of an agreement between Savannah Energy Niger Solar Limited, a subsidiary of the British independent energy company Savannah Energy, and the Government of Niger for the development of two photovoltaic solar plants with a capacity total of up to 200 MW.
In this important step forward for Niger's energy sector, His Excellency Ibrahim Yacoubou, Secretary of State for Power and Renewable Energy, Catherine Inglehearn, British Ambassador to the Republic of Niger, and Yacine Wafy, Savannah Vice President for West Africa, met in Niamey on May 10 to formalize this innovative partnership.
The plants will be located about 20 km from Maradi and Zinder, in southern Niger, and will have an installed capacity of between 50 and 100 MW, for a total installed capacity potential of up to 200 MW. These solar projects are expected to increase the country's grid-connected electricity production by more than 20%, providing reliable and affordable energy for all. In addition, solar plants are expected to reduce annual CO2 emissions by around 260,000 tons.
The solar projects will connect to the electricity grid in south-central Niger, with plans to interconnect with the western zone of the grid, which serves Niamey, in 2026 through a project financed by the World Bank. With feasibility studies completed over the next year, the solar projects are expected to be approved in 2024, with the first electricity generated between 2025 and 2026. Savannah plans to finance the initiative by combining its own revenues with targeted loans for each project.
Savannah Energy's partnership with Niger is an emblematic example of fruitful collaboration in the African energy sector. It is an example of how synergy between resource-rich African nations and private companies can lead to the development of exceptional projects. This operation highlights the transformative impact that the signing of this type of agreement can have to boost the energy landscape and sustainable growth of the region.
Meanwhile, Savannah Energy has already made notable progress in Niger, with the recent signing in March 2022 to build and operate the country's first wind farm, as well as a memorandum of understanding signed in 2018 for an early production plan using the resources of crude oil in the Agadem depression basin, in the southeast of Niger. These developments not only underline Savannah Energy's active role in Niger, but also illustrate its commitment to promoting diversified and sustainable energy solutions in the region.
“With the signing of this framework agreement between Savannah Energy and the Government of Niger, we express our strong support for this collaboration that holds immense potential for Niger's energy sector. The Chamber recognizes the importance of diversifying the energy mix and the development of new solar initiatives represents an important step forward. This partnership has the power to transform Niger's energy landscape, improving access to reliable and affordable electricity while reducing carbon emissions. We congratulate Savannah Energy for its continued involvement in Niger and the Government of Niger for its shared vision with Savannah to drive sustainable development in the country's energy sector,” said NJ Ayuk, Executive Chairman of the African Energy Chamber.