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Monica_55905 Nov 06

A success story for Benin: celebrating one year of the Maria Gléta 127MW power plant

A success story for Benin: celebrating one year of the Maria Gléta 127MW power plant image
Burmeister & Wain Scandinavian Contractor A/S (BWSC) is a Danish engineering and contracting company that develops, builds, operates and owns high-performance engine-based and boiler-based power plants.
Last September they celebrated one year since inauguration of the Maria Gléta power plant in Benin. The 127 MW power plant uses high efficiency, dual-fuel engines to supply electricity to hundreds of thousands of Beninese homes and businesses and responds to the government’s goal to develop the energy sector in Benin in a sustainable manner. The dual fuel capacity enables the power plant to switch seamlessly from heavy fuel oil to natural gas, making it the cleanest, most efficient plant of its type in the region.  

Benin has a rapidly growing demand for power, estimated at six percent per year, and this project significantly enhances the much-needed electricity supply to power business growth and enhance living standards in the peri-urban areas surrounding Cotonou.

The dual-fuel plant, mostly operating on natural gas, has increased Benin’s independency of electricity from neighbouring countries, while at the same time lowering electricity prices.

During construction of the plant the site secured jobs for 1,000 Beninese and now, one year after the plant went into operation, the plant employs some 55 local employees to carry out operation and maintenance activities. The team, which includes 8 women, secures an availability rate of more than 98%.

Achieving such a high availability level constituted quite a challenge for the first year of operation on account of the Covid-19 outspread. Indeed the power plant, at the very onset of its commercial operation, had to adapt to the situation imposed by the pandemic with the implementation of work from home measures for those whose activities would allow it, social distancing measures for those coming to site. Measures that added complexity to an already complicated task of launching a new power plant.  Such a success story, would not have been achieved, was it not thanks to the efforts of one and all engaged in the operation. As part of the community, the plant has also lent equipment to the authorities for ensuring round the clock availability of power at the Covid-19 treatment centre in Benin. Such a measure has allowed undisrupted power supply at this strategic centre where lifesaving activities are being carried out.