Cross-border power can help Africa overcome low electricity supply rates

Cross-border power, which is a major reason for the existence of Africa’s regional power pools, represents a major opportunity for many countries, he says. “Over recent years, mobile gas turbines have been opening doors to new markets for countries with natural gas reserves.  Fast-track power suppliers are able to set up generation facilities near natural gas sources within weeks and ensure reliable electricity supply that can be sold and exported across regional transmission lines to neighbouring countries. For the importing countries, they gain access to much-needed power without the time and expense of installing permanent generating capacity.” 

A major advantage of mobile power generation, according to Makanda, is the fact that it can serve as a bridging solution so countries can attract development and grow their economies immediately, as opposed losing out on five to ten years of possible growth while permanent capacity is being installed.

“Another major challenge solved by mobile power providers is the local skills gap. Unlike many providers, however, that bring in skilled labour, APR Energy strives to hire up to 70 per cent of the people who install, operate and maintain our power plants from the local workforce. That requires us to provide intensive training and development to ensure our employees have the necessary skills and knowledge.  When our contract expires, those skilled individuals remain in the community and can go on to operate and maintain the newly constructed permanent facilities,” Makanda says.

“It is important to understand that mobile power solutions do not take the place of permanent facilities. But mobile power has proven to be a viable bridging solution that supports economic growth while permanent facilities are constructed. A capable service provider also offers scalable solutions that can quickly react to changing demand,” Makanda says.

APR Energy is the world’s leading provider of fast-track mobile turbine power. The company’s fast, flexible and full-service power solutions provide customers with rapid access to reliable electricity when and where they need it, for as long as they need it. Combining state-of-the-art, fuel-efficient technology with industry-leading expertise, APR Energy’s scalable turnkey plants help run cities, countries and industries around the world, in both developed and developing markets.

Finally, Makanda states that fuel flexibility is vital. “Fuel flexible turbines like the units used by APR Energy can be converted between gas and liquid fuels within minutes, meaning that we offer the ability to immediately react to issues like disruptions in particular types of fuel, or changing costs,” he concludes.

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