The Government of the state of Eritrea, through the Ministry of Energy and Mines is seeking contractors for the Design, Engineering, Supply, and Installation of a 30 MW solar PV Plant with a 15 MW/30 MWh Battery Energy Storage System (BESS).
The solar project, to be located in Dekemhare, in the central part of the African country is being financed by the African Development Bank (AfDB). The bank earlier this year approved a US$49.92 million grant for the project. The grant comprised US$19.5 million from the bank’s African Development Fund (ADF-15), and US$30.42 million from its Transition Support Facility (TSF).
According to the tender documents, interested parties have time until the 17th of October 2023 to submit their bids.
The solar project is in alignment with the objectives of Eritrea’s 2018 National Energy Policy, and the country’s Vision 2030 and aims to increase the electrification rate across the country. Under the Vision 2023, the country aims to meet 20% of its energy needs from renewable energy sources.
According to the AfDB, the solar project aligns with its Desert to Power initiative that seeks to establish a solar zone that provides renewable energy to 250 million people across eleven countries in the Sahel and East Africa. “When completed it will become the largest solar zone in the world,” said AfDB.
Improving energy access in Eritrea
Part of the AfDB grant will be allocated to technical assistance and capacity building to improve the operational performance of the grid and ensure the sustainability of the results achieved and the overall development of the Eritrean power sector.
The construction of the solar project is also expected to significantly increase the country’s power generation capacity to 185 MW and 365 gigawatt-hours/year, respectively. Greenhouse gas emissions by 42,910 Gg CO2-eq per year will be eliminated.
The project will also reduce the cost of electricity generation to 18.5 US cents per kilowatt hour, reducing dependence on fossil fuels and, in the short to medium term. Once completed, the solar power plant will also increase the share of renewable energy in the grid’s energy mix from 3% to 23%.