Cape Verde wants private investment to provide power to entire archipelago by 2010

27 July 2006

Praia, Cape Verde, 27 July – The government of Cape Verde wants the entire archipelago to have access to power in 2010, and requires increased private investment in generation capacity , the West African island nation’s prime minister said.

“Not only is the government investing strongly in renewable energies, but there will also be independent producers,” setting up in the archipelago, said José Maria das Neves in an interview with Radio de Cabo Verde.

Neves was speaking about the signing of an agreement between the government and private majority shareholders of power company Electra, which will give the Cape Verdean state control of the company, which currently has a monopoly on supply water and electricity to the country.

“We are working to reduce production costs and consequently reduce tariffs and ensure supply of electricity to the Cape Verdean population. In 2010 Cape Verde will practically have 100 percent coverage in terms of power supply,” Neves said.

The government recently approved legislation to encourage increased production capacity, namely conceding tax incentives to independent producers, which it is trying to attract to the archipelago.

At the end of last week, the cape Verdean press reported that renewable energy company Energias Renováveis de Cabo Verde (ERCV) would set up a power plant with a 17 megawatt capacity at the country’s capital city, Praia.

The prime minister told the radio station that the State budget for 2006 included large investments to widen power coverage, and that in August two areas of Fogo Island would be officially linked up to the country’s electricity grid.

The agreement signed with Electra’s private shareholders, Portugal’s EDP and AdP, was the solution found to solve a long-held difference of opinion with the government on the quality of service provided, which reached a peak over the last few weeks, with constant power cuts in Praia.

The agreement outlines the company’s financial recovery, with the Cape Verdean state taking control of its management. (macauhub)