The Senegalese subsidiary of Mali-based Kama SA Group is planning on constructing a gas-to-power plant in Senegal’s Sandiara Special Economic Zone.
The project will convert gas from domestic projects in Senegal into electricity, which will then be exported to neighboring Mali through the project’s connection to the country’s national grid. “The environmental study is currently underway, and construction is expected to commence in January 2024,” stated Haoua Cissé, Country Manager of Kama in Senegal, in an exclusive interview with Energy Capital & Power.
The planned power plant will have a total capacity of 180 MW and will include a hydrocarbon depot with a storage capacity of 160,000 m³ as well as a gas filling center with a production capacity of 25,000 bottles per year.
Cissé explains that “With the gas-to-power plant in Sandiara, we aim to replicate what we have already done in Ivory Coast, which is to harness local gas, convert it into electricity, and then transfer it to the Malian grid.”
Mali faces challenges in its energy sector, including a deficit in energy production, increasing demand and limited access to modern energy services, particularly in rural areas. Despite having significant renewable energy resources such as solar and hydroelectric power, they remain largely untapped. Electricity cuts also affect the country’s economy as the aging infrastructure struggles to meet the increasing demand for electricity, which grows by 10% every year.
To address power challenges, the Ministry of Energy in Mali capped the price of electricity, but production costs remain high, thereby opening up prospects for the country to tap into neighboring markets. According to Cissé, “Kama is also interested in Mauritania,” due to both Senegal and Mauritania being on track to become major gas producers this year.
“Mali is very rich in mineral resources, particularly in the region bordering Senegal, where many mines are located,” Cissé stated, adding that, “This industry needs a large amount of power. However, this is a landlocked country with a significant energy imbalance.”
The strategy of developing projects in regional markets and tying them into Mali’s grid is more cost-effective than transporting gas to Malian power plants. For Kama SA, a Malian group with subsidiaries in Morocco, Guinea Conakry, Senegal and Ivory Coast, this strategy is a unique and efficient approach to improving power supply in Mali. The company has been actively involved in the energy sector since 2003, and its extensive expertise spans various areas, including the supply and installation of electrical equipment such as power plants, substations and high-voltage transmission lines.
“The Kama Group has diversified significantly, including in the transportation of hydrocarbons in Ivory Coast and the construction of electrical poles in Morocco, but our core busbiness remains the construction of power plants,” stressed Cissé. Specializing in the production and distribution of energy, including thermal and solar solutions, they have successfully undertaken rural water supply projects, civil engineering works and metal construction endeavors. Moreover, Kama is engaged in the transportation of goods and hydrocarbons, further diversifying their range of services.
First gas in Senegal/Mauritania would likely spur more collaboration among West African nations, linking landlocked and coastal countries while advancing regional electrification. Access to power is also limited in regional neighbors such as Burkina Faso and Niger, which are heavily reliant on imports. Regional collaboration and approaches such as the Kama SA Group’s represent innovative ways West Africa can alleviate energy poverty.
From November 21-22 in Nouakchott, the MSGBC Oil, Gas & Power 2023 conference will hold a panel discussion titled, ‘Bridging the Divide: Collaboration to Power the Region,’ focusing on the critical issue of energy access in West Africa and how cross-border cooperation can address it. The significance of gas-to-power initiatives for a low-carbon future, the electricity energy value chain, private sector investment in energy infrastructure, and the importance of regional collaboration for sharing resources and knowledge will be key points of discussion. Visit www.msgbcoilgaspower.com for more information about this exciting event.