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Work on Seychelles’ marine floating solar PV project delayed   | 14 June 2020

Work on Seychelles’ marine floating solar PV project delayed   

The Providence lagoon where the approximately 4MW power plant will be located

Construction work on the Seychelles Marine Floating Solar PV project which was to start this month has been delayed due to restrictions on movement brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

If all goes well, work is now expected to start in September or October, the Seychelles Energy Commission has said.

The chief executive of the Seychelles Energy Commission (Sec), Tony Imaduwa,  said the project has been delayed as the international consultants could not make it in the country due to the restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

He said a new timeline has to be agreed on with the international partners, investors, consultants and advisors.

The approximately 4MW power plant project to be located in the Providence  lagoon was awarded to bidder Quadran (Seychelles) Ltd in December last year. Quadran (Seychelles) Ltd is an international renewable energy company operating in Africa, Europe and Asia.

It is to be noted that the original EIA carried out before the conception of the project has been modified to include other components to address issues raised by members of the public during a consultative meeting held towards the end of last year.

These include protection of biodiversity in the area, a passage for fishing boats among others.

Mr Imaduwa said the appropriate studies were carried out by the company which is at present in the process of finalising its reports to submit to the department of environment before being put to the public for any additional comments. 

Mr Imaduwa said last week Sec held a Zoom call meeting with different local and international partners to review the timeline for the start of the project.

“We have agreed on a new timeline which we are circulating to all our partners. We are looking now to start construction work towards September or October this year,” Mr Imaduwa said.

The plant, which is expected to be Africa’s first utility-scale marine floating PV as well as Seychelles’ first Independent Power Producer (IPP), will provide affordable, clean power to the national grid.

Through the IPP structure, Quadran (Seychelles ) Ltd the successful bidder is designing, financing, building and will operate the power plant and sell electricity to the PUC at a predetermined and stable price.

It is to be recalled that Quadran (Seychelles) Ltd’s winning bid was 9.5 US$c per kWh but Mr Imaduwa has stated that the Sec will undertake discussions to renegotiate the agreed price to try and bring it down further.  

 

Marie-Anne Lepathy

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