18 Sep 2020

TUNISIA: Steg to Buy Electricity from Akuo Energy’s Solar Power Plant in Gabès

18 Sep 2020  by Jean Marie Takouleu   

A power purchase agreement (PPA) has just been signed between the Tunisian Electricity and Gas Company (Steg) and the consortium developing the 10 MWp Gabès photovoltaic solar project. It is formed by the French Independent Power Producer (IPP) Akuo Energy, HBG Holding and Nour Energy.

In Tunisia, the construction of a photovoltaic solar power plant in the governorate of Gabès is taking shape. The project has just been the subject of a power purchase agreement (PPA) signed between the Tunisian Electricity and Gas Company (Steg) and the consortium in charge of the project. It is formed by Akuo Energy, an independent power producer (IPP) based in Paris, France; HBG Holding, a subsidiary of Hédi Bouchamaoui Group; and Nour Energy, a subsidiary of the Chaabane real estate group.

Steg will purchase a MWh of electricity produced in Gabès at 128 Tunisian dinars (39.6 euros) for 20 years. The signature of the PPA marks a considerable step forward for this clean energy project before the phase of mobilising the necessary financing for the construction of the solar power plant. “This signature marks Akuo’s entry into the Tunisian market and the willingness of HBG Holding and Nour Energy to turn to the renewable energy sector,” Akuo Energy said.

Towards financial mobilisation

“It is with pride and joy that Akuo begins its anchorage in Tunisia thanks to this 10 MWp project. This marks the continuity of our opening to African markets, but also our willingness to be part of an approach that will benefit the local population. We have joined forces with HBG Holding and Nour Energy, local partners with whom we share ethical values, and are determined to create sustainable and local jobs throughout the life of the project,” says Pierre-Antoine Berthold, Managing Director of Akuo Energy Africa.

The solar photovoltaic project in Gabes, which will require an investment of 23.2 million Tunisian dinars (7.2 million euros), is now entering a crucial phase, that of financial mobilization. The IPP hopes to complete the financing of its solar power plant in 2021 in order to launch the works which should be completed in 2022. The future installation will be made up of two-sided solar panels placed on trackers, which allow the sun’s path to be followed for better light capture. The farm will produce 23 GWh per year; a quantity of electricity that could supply 14,000 households in the governorate of Gabès in the south-east of Tunisia.

A project of the Tunisian Solar Plant (PST)

The installation of all the equipment necessary for the operation of the solar photovoltaic power plant in Gabès should make it possible to employ 200 people on site. This renewable energy project is part of the Tunisian Solar Plan (PST), implemented by the Tunisian government with the aim of increasing the share of renewable energies in the electricity mix from 3% today to 30% in 2030.

Also within the framework of the TSP, the Tunisian government plans to build 16 new solar power plants, including six installations with a capacity of 10 MWp each and 10 others with a capacity of 1 MWp. The small solar power plants will be built in Ajim Djerba, Sidi Bouzid, Tataouine, Gabès, Kairouan and Médenine.

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