On Thursday, January 14, the President of the Republic of Djibouti, Ismaïl Omar Guelleh, laid the first stone for the construction of a solar power plant, located in Grand Bara, in southern Djibouti.
The solar power project will be built in six stages, each one adding 50 megawatts of power, towards a final capacity of 300 megawatts. The development of this solar power plant is the result of a partnership between the Republic of Djibouti and Green Enesys, a German company specialising in renewable energy. In total the project is valued at around US$390 million, financed through a Programme Partnership Arrangement.
Between 150 and 200 direct and indirect jobs will be created during the construction phase. When operational, the solar power plant will employ 60 people on a full-time basis.
The new solar project is part of the government’s strategy to cut the cost of energy and also supports the target to supply all of Djibouti ‘s energy requirements from renewable sources by the next decade.
Currently, sixty-five per cent of the energy used in the Republic of Djibouti comes from a renewable source, the hydropower interconnection with Ethiopia. Projects to develop wind, geothermal, solar, and wave energy capabilities are all underway in Djibouti. The geothermal electricity generation programme is a priority for the government and its potential is acknowledged as one of the highest in the world.
Energy demand is expected to rise significantly in Djibouti over the coming years as it undertakes a major investment programme in core infrastructure projects to support its position as a maritime and regional logistics hub. The IMF recently said that economic growth reached 6.5% in 2015, and is estimated to be at the same level in 2016.