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Mali gives the green light for construction of two solar plants

The construction of the Ségou and Fana solar power plants aligns with Mali’s solar energy roadmap

The Ministry of Economy and Finance in Mali approved two agreements for the construction of two solar photovoltaic power plants in the country. The ministry announced this at the end of the Council of Ministers meeting held on Wednesday March 31st, 2021 in Bamako. The approval gives the green light for the proposed 33 MW Ségou and 50 MW Fana solar power projects to commence construction. 

Norwegian independent power producer (IPP) Scatec will construct the Ségou solar power plant whilst Legendre Energie, a subsidiary of the French group Legendre will construct the Fana solar power plant through a public-private partnership (PPP) arrangement.

Mali’s solar energy roadmap also includes plans to build large scale PV projects. The government of Mali aims to ramp up the country’s share of renewable energy in the national electricity mix to 25% by 2033, in addition to a 61% rural electrification target. 

The latest statistics published by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) says Mali only had 20 MW of cumulative installed solar capacity by the end of 2019.

Ségou solar power plant

Scatec will develop the Ségou solar power in partnership with a Malian local company, IFC InfraVentures, a subsidiary of the World Bank Group, and Africa Power, for a planned investment of €48.4 million.

Malian authorities had initially approved construction of the Ségou solar power in 2015 with electricity company Ségou Solaire. The project was amended to align with the new market conditions as the price of solar equipment has dropped sharply in recent years. Implementation clauses of the Ségou power project were also amended to align with the new trends. 

“The delay observed in the execution of the project and the drop in the sale price per kilowatt-hour made it necessary to re-revise the contract concerning, in particular, the definition of certain terms, i.e. the buyer’s right of substitution, the applicable tax and customs regime, and the modalities of implementation of the surety agreement” read a report from the Council of Ministers.

Fana solar power plant

The 50MW Fana Solar Power will be developed at an estimated cost of US$ 108 million through a public-private-partnership deal with a concession period of 30 years. Legendre will finance, design, build and operate the solar energy facility. 

“The concession contract concluded defines the legal framework for the implementation of the project. It also describes the technical and financial principles as well as the practical modalities for the implementation of the project, in particular the signing of a power purchase agreement (PPA) between the company Énergie du Mali (EDM-SA) and the company Fana Solar Power,” the Malian government said.

The Malian government set up an ad hoc entity, Fana Solar Power, which will enter into an electricity repurchase agreement with Energie du Mali, the national electricity company of Mali.

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