China’s Sinohydro Corporation has been awarded the tender launched in 2019 to build a photovoltaic solar plant in Gardete, in Guinea-Bissau, with an installed capacity of 20 megawatts, and its contract was signed recently, according to official information.
The contract was signed with Société Africaine des Biocarburants et des Energies Renouvelables (SABER)/African Biofuel and Renewable Energy Company (ABREC), a company promoting the introduction of renewable energies and energy efficiency in Africa and from which the government of Guinea-Bissau in March 2019 ordered the tender documents to be drawn up, the launch of the tender and selection of competitors.
The project, which is financed by the West African Development Bank, as well as the plant in Gardete, located 8 kilometres from the capital Bissau, also includes two mini-solar power plants of 1 megawatt each in Gabu and in Canchungo.
Covered by the programme for the Exploration of Renewable Energy Sources (Prover) of Guinea-Bissau, the construction of the Gardete plant, where the power produced will be injected into the national grid, includes 30 kilo-volt transmission lines and the Bor sub-station.
The West African Development Bank funding was offered to Guinea-Bissau in the form of a US$42.9 million loan, according to information published when the tender was launched.
The Chinese hydraulic engineering and construction group had previously been awarded a tender launched by the government of Guinea-Bissau, in October 2016, to build a football stadium with a capacity for 45,000 spectators.
With a population estimated at 1.86 million people (2017), Guinea-Bissau has one of the lowest rates of electrification in all of Africa, with vast areas of its territory having no access to electricity, and biomass accounts for approximately 95% of the energy consumed in the country.