Chinese firm to build Djibouti’s first wind power plant

Windmills - skeeze - pixabayThe wind power project is in line with Djibouti's plan to rely entirely on clean power. (Image source: skeeze/pixabay)Djibouti’s ministry of energy has signed an MoU with Shanghai Electric for the construction of a 60MW wind power project in the eastern African country

The Chinese mechanical and electrical equipment manufacturer will construct the project in two parts of 30MW each and the project will also include the construction of two 230 kV power lines in northern Djibouti.

According to the ministry of energy, Djibouti has significant wind potential with the ability to generate an estimated 5,000kWh annually. High potential sites include Ghoubet, Assal, Gali Maaba and Bada Wein. The Djibouti Electricity Authority was responsible for the feasibility and data collection studies.

The minister of energy Ali Mahmoud Yacoub said, “Energy demands are high and Djibouti needs cheaper power to fund the expansion of its ports, which have seen a surge in movement of cargo, particularly servicing our landlocked neighbour Ethiopia. Lower energy costs will also attract more investors to the country. This project is part of the solution and supports Djibouti’s new status as a commercial and regional economic hub in Africa.”

Djibouti has set itself the target of becoming fully reliant on renewable power for all its energy needs within the next decade. “It is also part of our national strategy to achieve energy independence in Djibouti, based on clean, permanent, cheap and above all, accessible energy throughout the country,” the minister added.

Other renewable projects including wind, geothermal, solar and wave energy are all in the pipeline. Companies like Qatar Electric and Fotowatio Renewable Ventures of Spain are involved in developing wind power and solar power projects across the country. The country’s geothermal resources have generated interest from companies in USA, Japan, Australia and Italy. The government plans to drill four exploratory wells within the next year near the caldera at the Asal-Fiale geothermal field.

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