ABB MAURITIUS new.abb.com/southern-africa
Power & Automation
ABB MAURITIUS Facilitating Mauritiusâ€™ Renewable Energy Revolution By: Nicholas Paul Griffin
ith a current GDP growth rate of around 4%, the remote Indian Ocean nation of Mauritius is on the brink of further promising expansion of its infrastructure in support of its growth potential.
Power & Automation
Country Director, ABB Mauritius The country has seen a tremendous improvement in its standing on the World Economic Forum’s annual competitiveness index, with July’s index release gaining them top position in Africa and a steady world rise from a previous position of 54th up to an impressive 45th. As well as being recognised as one of the world’s top 25 outsourcing destinations, the country is known for its businessfriendly environment and a low tax jurisdiction with investment opportunities in several areas. Aspire Africa takes a closer look at one of the companies instrumental in helping forward Mauritius’ current socioeconomic development.
ABB Mauritius “Mauritius remains one of sub-Saharan Africa’s economic success stories,” says Ajay Vij, Country Manager of ABB Mauritius, a global leader in power and automation technology boasting a mix of environmentally friendly products, systems and services, in addition to expansive experience in emerging economy development projects—a platform that sees them well-positioned to support the nation in its development endeavours. Mr. Vij attests to the fact that accessible, reliable energy has been a critical element of Mauritius’ steady growth in the industry, finance and tourism sectors since the shift from a largely agricultural economy just decades ago. However, the country is still only able to meet Aspire Africa · July/Aug 2015
around a quarter of its energy needs through local generation. As it lies kilometers from the mainland, the remaining balance—more than 75%—must be imported in the form of diesel, coal and fuel oils.
Scale Distributed Generation project for businesses, residents and communities to install photovoltaic (PV) panels to meet their own needs and to sell surplus energy back to the local grid.
Demand for electricity in Mauritius is expected to grow by 60% over the next ten years. In 2008 the country announced its “Maurice Ile Durable” (MID) initiative, a program designed to ensure this higher demand is met in an economically and environmentally sustainable way. MID is composed of five balanced pillars—education, environment, employment, equity and energy—with the aim of making Mauritius a world model for sustainable development.
According to Mauritius’ Central Electricity Board (CEB), this process will add over 2 MW of additional renewable capacity. Some 40,000 people will also participate in a program to provide solar heated water in homes. On a larger scale, the CEB has also invested in 60 MW of new solar and wind capacity to be added to the grid by 2015.
Mr. Vij is extremely optimistic about ABB’s participation in the Mauritian economy: “It is certainly our plan to even further expand our local engineering capabilities,” he says, “while working with our customers to develop custom-made solutions that will benefit both the people and the environment.” ABB’s business model looks to forge close relationships with local partners for onthe-ground operational delivery, aided by a wealth of global knowledge, expertise and experience.
ABB has an impressive track record when it comes to supporting the Government, businesses and local communities in achieving key objectives in a sustainable manner. The company has already delivered seventeen central inverters for a 15.2 MW PV power plant at La Feme, which was developed by the Tauber-Solar Group from Germany. The PV plant was successfully connected in February 2014 and will produce approximately 24 gigawatt-hours of clean energy a year, saving roughly 15,000 tons of CO2 emissions annually.
Local Renewable Generation
But ABB by no means intends to rest on its laurels. Having served the Mauritian market for over 15 years, the company has identified huge potential in the country’s vibrant and growing economy, recognised worldwide for its prudent macroeconomic policies.
The energy pillar of the MID initiative includes a number of policies and incentives designed to reduce energy consumption and to shift Mauritius’ energy mix more towards renewables.
ABB’s comprehensive packages include competencies, products and services for the complete primary production chain in the power, mining and mineral processing industries.
The country’s goal is to meet 35% of demand through local renewable generation by the year 2025. Part of this plan includes a Small
The company delivers power distribution equipment, integrated process control, optimization and information systems, and a
ABB · Mauritius
Power & Automation
ABB’s PVS800 central inverters number of other world-leading technologies, utilizing these services alongside its in-depth knowledge of its customers’ processes to provide long-term cost effective solutions. ABB’s philosophy is to employ its global network to provide local support and engineering facilities that are convenient and effective in supporting its customer base.
La Ferme Bambous In line with the MID initiative, ABB and its local partner, SARAKO PVP Co., recently completed a major project in support of the Mauritian Government’s vision of a sustainable island. The $6 million turnkey solution delivered the country’s largest solar power plant to date, designed to add an additional 15 MW of electricity from 62,000 modules of photovoltaic solar panels to the national grid per year. The electricity generated through this power station, located at La Ferme Bambous, just south of the La Ferme Reservoir, will be used solely as an extension of the electricity produced by the CEB. This will reduce the importation of fossil fuels, thus having a direct positive impact on the country’s carbon emissions.
The site selected for the power station does not contain any endemic or indigenous fauna and flora, as it consists of mainly barren land. It is also devoid of any hydrological features such as rivers, springs or wetlands. The turnkey solution developed for the Bambous project draws on ABB’s longestablished position as a market leader and technology pioneer in solar energy conversion. ABB supplied a number of essential technological components to the project, including AC/DC cabinets, dry type transformers and Unisec switchgears, a concrete container, PASS module, center solar invertors and SCADA. The completion of the La Ferme Bambous project can be regarded as a major milestone for ABB. “We see this project as much more than the generation of clean energy to be added to the grid,” Mr. Vij says. “It is also contributing to the sustainable island ideal of the government through the socio-economic development of the Bambous community.” In the wake of this project, ABB is currently working through its partners in Mauritius on various other solar and wind projects which are part of the Government’s MID initiative. ASPIRE Aspire Africa · July/Aug 2015
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