Madagascar to construct 35MW hydroelectric power plant

September 3, 2019

The government of Madagascar has announced plans to partner with Italy to develop a 35MW hydroelectric power plant in Antananarivo with the aim of filling the energy gap in and around the capital of Madagascar.

The country’s national water and electricity company, Jirama confirmed the reports and said the agreement between them and Tozzi Green, a company specialising in solutions, services and projects, will see construction of the plant combined with two solar installations. The project will be operational by 2020.

Energy sector in Madagascar

Madagascar’s energy balance shows that about 80% of its overall energy consumption is based on biomass (mainly firewood 68%, charcoal 10% and other biomass 2%), 17% on petrol (transport), 2% on electricity (hydropower and diesel power plants) and 1% on coal.

Until today the petroleum products are all imported. Even though Madagascar has oil in place the oilfields are not being exploited yet. The energy consumption per head is around 0,2 tons oil equivalent, which is one of the lowest in the world.

According to figures published by the World Bank in 2018, access to electricity remains low with about 20% of the total population having access to this form of modern energy. In the rural areas, only about 5% have access to electricity.

Focus on renewable energy

The installed capacity of electricity production in Madagascar is approximately 650MW only. The currently utilised capacity is even lower due to the poor efficiency following the lack of rehabilitation of some of the large hydro power plants. To improve electricity supply, the country’s authorities are now focusing on renewable energies. An option for which Madagascar has great potential: 2,000 kWh/m²/year thanks to the 2,800 hours of sunshine per year, in terms of solar energy. The State is counting on renewable energy to meet 70% access by 2030.