Cape Verde invests US$28 million to strengthen energy supply

2 August 2006

Praia, Cape Verde, 02 Aug – Cape Verde will invest US$28 million to strengthen energy supply to the capital of the archipelago, Praia, which has been subject to constant power outages this year, the prime minister said.

Among the structural measures announced by Prime Minister José Maria Neves in parliament, which complement the emergency measures already underway, are strengthening the power plant that supplies Praia (Palmarejo) with two new 7.5 megawatt generation units.

The government also plans to connect Palmarejo with the interior of the island of Santiago and eliminate the small power plants scattered across the island. The plan includes installing more than 16.8 megawatts of power, via independent power projects (12 Mw) and a wind farm (4.8 Mw), the public tender for which has already been launched.

These measures, given by Neves in a state of the nation debate, aim to “guarantee a regular energy supply to the capital of the country in the medium- and long-term,” and will cost around US$28 million, which represents the investment “just from the government”.

“Organizing the supply of energy, investment in renewable energies and licensing of independent producers will be the way forward”, the prime minister said.

The government, with the emergency measures that are underway, which include repairs and acquiring supplementary power, plans to meet its current consumption needs – estimated to be 17.3 megawatts – and obtain 5 to 6 megawatts in reserve capacity.

In the speech given by Neves, the prime minister outlined the optimistic economic outlook and renewed his medium-term objectives, which include increasing economic growth to two digits (currently it is seven percent), reduce unemployment to under 10 percent and decrease poverty by one half.

To meet these objectives, foreign investment is essential, said Neves, who expects approved projects in the next four years to reach US$ 2.13 billion.

This figure represents 20,000 jobs, Neves said. If 45 percent of these projects are carried out at the end of the period, Neves said that this would mean 9,200 new jobs.

“The economy is showing a structural change to an economy if international services”, especially in the tourism and finance sectors, the prime minister said in parliament. (macauhub)

MACAUHUB FRENCH