BENIN – GE, an American multinational conglomerate popular for its energy business, has won a US$47 million contract to improve Benin’s energy infrastructure, a key step towards improving access to electricity in the country.

The US$47 million electricity contract awarded to GE Renewable Energy’s Grid Solutions business will involve the installation of four substations and seven extensions so as to strengthen electricity supply security in Benin.

The contract which the West Africa’s nation biggest high-voltage substation contract was been awarded through the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) – a United States foreign assistance agency established by the US Congress.

This is a critical grid project as only one-third of Benin’s population has access to electricity and total per-capita consumption is low due to limited access and availability.

At the same time, rapidly growing demand for power, inadequate maintenance, and insufficient investment has stressed Benin’s national electrical grid, creating power outages that hurt businesses and hinder social services.

Under the contract, GE will supply four substations, including gas-insulated switchgear (GIS) and seven substation extensions.

The scope of the project however primarily covers the most important high-voltage substation in the country, Vedoko, and is strategically placed to help strengthen the country’s transmission backbone.

GE will also work on upgrading the substations in Maria-Gleta, Berecingou, Djougou, Bohicon, Natitingou and Parakou.

“We are honored to be awarded this critical grid project in Benin, supporting the country’s modernization efforts around its power sector. Moreover, additional energy capacity will help foster economic development and boost local area growth.”

Eric Amoussouga – CEO GE SSA Francophone at GE’s Grid Solutions.

This is the second contract GE’s Grid Solutions has received through MCC’s $375 million power-sector focused agreement with Benin.

The first contract, a turnkey distribution management system project involving telecommunication infrastructure and substation adaptations, was awarded in 2018 and is currently being executed.

That project was designed to strengthen the country’s grid and manage electricity losses that result during energy transmission, since Benin imports some of its electricity from neighboring countries.

The new substations that GE will install as part of the latest project will be integrated into the distribution management system, improving grid reliability and allowing for additional energy capacity.

GE’s Grid Solutions will also set up an office in Benin to provide training and skills through a local team which will then be hired via subcontractors to ensure effective management of the grid upon handover.

Liked this article? Subscribe to DealStreet Africa News, our regular email newsletter with the latest news, deals and insights from Africa’s business, economy and more. SUBSCRIBE HERE