Electra regularizes power supply to Cape Verdean capital

10 August 2006

Praia, Cape Verde, 10 Aug – The power supply to the Cape Verdean capital Praia should be regularized this weekend after six months of blackouts, the local press reported Thursday.

The daily Liberal indicated that the problem, which led to direct intervention by the governments of Cape Verde and Portugal, the origin of Electra’s majority shareholders, will be resolved this coming weekend with the installation of seven new generators in the Gamboa plant on the outskirts of the capital.

The generators sent from Lisbon arrived Monday in Praia and should ensure sufficient energy production for the current level of consumption and for expected growth until next year.

The equipment is rented for a one-year period and is then to be replaced at a time when Electra should already have a new shareholder structure.

Local press reports nevertheless indicate that power supply interruptions continue in other areas of Cape Verde.

Under the recent agreement between Portugal and Cape Verde, the Portuguese EDP/AdP consortium, which has broken with the Cape Verdean authorities, will reduce its 51 percent interest in Electra, the utility holding the energy and water concession in this island nation.

The Cape Verdean government has “urgent” interventions under way, including repairs and the purchase of additional power, which should enable coverage of current consumption needs, estimated at 17.3 megawatts, as well as a reserve capacity of 5-6 megawatts.

Prime Minister José Maria Neves recently announced in Parliament that the government plans to invest US$28 million to reinforce the capital’s power supply, with the mid-term goal of increasing generating capacity to nearly 32 megawatts. (macauhub)