Benin has officially inaugurated the Maria Gleta power plant near Cotonou.
With a generation capacity of 127 megawatts (MW), the gas engine power plant is set to increase the country’s power supply significantly decreasing its dependence on energy imports.
“The Maria Gleta power plant increases Benin’s capacity for electricity by more than 50 percent – our country now becomes more independent of energy imports, “ said the country’s Minister of Energy, Dona Jean-Claude Houssou
This forms part of the government’s Reveal Benin action plan, which seeks to strengthen macroeconomic development, consolidate democracy, and improve the lives of the population.
The plant will run on seven gensets from Germany’s MAN Energy Solutions, which built the plant with a consortium including Denmark’s Burmeister & Wain Scandinavian Contractor.
“We are very pleased that we are able to support Benin’s ambitious growth plans with this project,” said Waldemar Wiesner, head of Region MEA (Middle-East Africa), Power Plant Sales at MAN Energy Solutions. “Maria Gleta ensures a stable and independent power supply for Benin. The plant will mainly operate on natural gas keeping emissions at a low level, while ensuring fuel flexibility through its dual-fuel capability. This combination connects an environmentally friendly power generation with a secure supply at all time.”
Benin’s government is planning on expanding the power plant to have a total capacity of 400MW.
Revealing Benin is based on 45 major projects across 9 key sectors and the program aims to sustainably revitalize the country’s economy. The action plan seeks to raise investment to 34 percent of GDP through collaboration with private sector partners, with Benin already having signed an agreement with Total for the development of a floating storage and regasification unit.
Despite having vast natural gas reserves, Benin has been importing the majority of its power from Ghana, Togo, and Nigeria.