Sao Tome and Principe: Soares da Costa builds mini hydroelectric dams to supply public electricity company

25 January 2008

Sao Tome, Sao Tome and Principe, 25 Jan – Portuguese company Soares da Costa is to finance and build 12 small hydroelectric power plants in Sao Tome and Principe and become a supplier to Sao Tome state electricity company Empresa de Água e Electricidade (Emae).

Fernando Nogueira, the company’s director in Sao Tome, told Sao Tome newspaper Tela Non that the project covers a total of 14 mini dams, of which two were already in operation, and another is due to be operational by the end of the year.

The Roca Bombaim plant, with a 4 megawatt production capacity, “means increasing the capacity for power production in Sao Tome and Principe by around 40 percent,” Nogueira said on the sidelines of a ceremony to lay the first stone of the project Wednesday.

According to Nogueira, when the 14 mini hydroelectric plants go into production the production capacity on Sao Tome will reach 40 megawatts, which is four times the current capacity of 10 megawatts.

In an initial phase, he said, the project will represent an investment of almost 3 million euros, paid by Soares da Costa, which will then be returned through the sale of electricity to Emae, which has a monopoly on production and sale of electricity and water on the Sao Tome and Principe archipelago.

This program essential aims to reduce the costs of thermal production due to the constant rise in fuel prices, to improve the quality of production, do away with constant power cuts, as well as combating environmental pollution.

It is estimated that there is demand of 15 megawatts of energy in Sao Tome and Principe and that Emae is only able to supply 10 megawatts. (macauhub)