Cape Verde’s electric power producer loses 37% of production each month

4 March 2013

Technical problems and theft account for 37 percent of electric power production being lost in Cape Verde, an amount worth 200 to 300 million Cape Verdean escudos (1.8/2.7 million euros) each month, said the head of the country’s Electra public water and electric power utility.

Alexandre Fontes told Portuguese news agency Lusa that technical losses represent 13 percent of total production and theft (illegal connections) 24 percent, a situation that will soon be controlled by new legislation to change the criminal code being prepared by the government.

Those changes were promised last Friday by the island country’s Minister for Tourism, Industry and Energy, Humberto Brito, who said the Council of Ministers would soon approve new laws to punish with prison sentences and fines not just theft but also those with outstanding debts.

Fontes and Brito made their comments during last Friday’s inauguration of the Palmarejo Single Plant in Praia, which enables a 22 megawatt increase in installed electric power production from 25 to 47 mw, enough to cover consumption by Santiago Island’s 256,000 inhabitants (56 percent of the national total) until 2018.

The new power plant is connected to all of Santiago Island, reinforcing production and improving distribution. It resulted from a 52 million euro investment co-financed by the African Development Bank (AfDB), the Bank for Investment and Development (BIDC) of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Cape Verde and Japan. (macauhub)