Togo claims self-sufficiency as it turns on 100 MW plant

Fri Oct 15, 2010 12:41pm EDT
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LOME (Reuters) - Togo, whose port capital Lome is an export hub for coffee and cocoa, turned on a 100 Megawatt triple fuel power plant on Friday in a move the West African state said made it self sufficient in energy.

The $192.4 million aid-funded plant was built by U.S.-based ContourGlobal, will cover Togo's 80-85 MW energy needs and could mean it will become a net energy exporter, Energy and Mines Minister Dammipi Noupokou said.

"Apart from giving Togo a certain comfort in the provision of electricity it will help improve the quality of ... Zone A of the West African Power Pool," he said of a network including Nigeria, Benin, Ghana, Ivory Coast and Togo.

The triple fuel technology means the plant can switch between natural gas, heavy fuel oil and diesel, ContourGlobal said in a news release earlier this year.

Noupokou said the plant would initially use heavy fuel oil until a natural gas purchase agreement is signed.

(Reporting by John Zodzi; writing by Mark John; Editing by Elizabeth Fullerton)