Symbion Power, an American Independent Power Producer, and the most prolific investor in the African power sector from the United States announced today that it has entered into a Protocol D’Accord directly with His Excellency Hery Rajaonarimampianina, President of the Republic of Madagascar.
The agreement covers the phased development of seven new power plants that will utilize biomass, solar and heavy fuel oil as primary fuel sources. The total capacity will be 180 Megawatts. The objective is to build more efficient and cost effective electrical energy solutions that will contribute to the economic growth of Madagascar.
Symbion has existing power generation facilities as well as new developments in a number of African countries including Nigeria, Tanzania, Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda, and will be partnering with Vision Madagascar (ViMa), a local investor. Symbion will train ViMa personnel and run education programs to increase local capacity. The new company, Symbion Madagascar will be created from a partnership between Symbion Power and Vision Madagascar (ViMa).
Chief Executive Officer, Paul Hinks commented, “During the past 16 months Madagascar has taken its rightful place on the international stage. President Hery Rajaonarimampianina has embarked on an ambitious program to bring electricity to his people and to reduce the costs of the small amount of power that exists there today.” The new developments by Symbion will save the government hundreds of millions of dollars and allow them to utilize those savings for other budgetary requirements. All in all it is a very positive thing for the people of Madagascar and we are proud to be part of this development.”
President Hery Rajaonarimampianina remarked, “I am pleased to see that Symbion, a well known US company has chosen Madagascar as an investment destination. The work they will do here will create thousands of jobs and improve the state of our economy because of the huge fuel cost savings we will realize. The Malagasy people will see the direct benefits of these investments over the next one to three years.”
All of the proposed power plants are outside the capital city of Antananarivo in Tsimiroro, Mahajanga, Nosy Boraha, Nosy Be, Antsiranana and Toamasina. In keeping with the President's motto for "inclusive development," these projects will provide even access to energy across the island.
The largest plant (116MW) will be located at Tsimiroro on the western coast of Madagascar where Symbion plans to use heavy fuel oil that is extracted locally. From Tsimiroro there will be a new transmission line to Antananarivo. This transmission system will also open up access to electricity for millions of new consumers. Mahajanga will be the site for both the 10-megawatt solar plant, as well as one of the 5-megawatt biomass plants. Additional biomass plants will be built at strategic sites on the east coast.
Symbion is well known in the United States for its pioneering and socially conscious approach to power system investment. In July 2013 President Barack Obama made a historic speech at a Symbion Power plant in East Africa. Symbion is also a founding partner of the US government’s “Power Africa” initiative that aims to increase electricity access throughout sub-Saharan Africa. Mr. Hinks said, “As far as we are concerned these new investments form a part of our commitment to President Obama and the US government to increase access to energy in Africa. At Symbion we focus on indigenous fuel sources and that’s exactly what we will be doing here.”
Vision Madagascar (ViMa) is a leader in land and real estate development in the country. It also owns the first wood industry operating to FSC standards in Madagascar., ViMa is an integral part of the development of a “New Madagascar”. Mr. Zouzar Bouka, Chairman emphasized, "Madagascar is a country where private companies may contribute to improving the quality of life of the Malagasy people through their investments."
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