Following the commissioning in 1975 of the coal power plant in Anu Araren, 1000km north of Niger’s capital, Niamey, to supply electricity to the cities in the north as well as uranium plants, Niger has launched a new coal power plant in the Tahoua region.
PANA reported that the new power plant will contribute to efforts to combat desertification by reducing wild logging for domestic purposes and helping to achieve energy self-sufficiency.
Niger loses 100,000 hectares of woodlands, particularly because of the use of firewood for domestic cooking.
Faced with this situation, the government decided to exploit its reserves of coal.
Niger’s President Mohamadou Issoufou launched the construction of the new 600MW coal power plant in Salkadamna, 80km northwest of Tahoua, Thursday.
Fully funded by the US company California Energy Services (SAP), the project covers an area of 30 square kms.
At a total cost of US$1.475 billion, the project involves the construction of an open pit mine, the 600-megawatt power plant and electricity lines to take power to the main consumption centres of the country.
Once self sufficiency is achieved, Niger will also export electricity to neighboring countries such as Mali, Burkina Faso and Benin.