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Inauguration of 7 MW Solar Photovoltaic Plant at Malbaza (Niger)

The 7 MW Solar Photovoltaic Plant at Malbaza (Niger) was officially inaugurated by Mr. Brigi Rafini, Prime Minister of Niger, on 24 November. This ceremony was attended by several members of Niger Government, including Mrs. Amina Moumouni, the Minister of Energy; Mr. Foumakoye Gado, Minister of Petroleum; Mr. Moussa Abdourahamane, Governor of Tahoua; Director General of NIGELEC, officials of the executing company and project management consultants besides local community. This is the first Solar Project completed since the launch of International Solar Alliance (ISA). This project has been executed under Government of India Line of Credit (LoC) at a cost of US$ 24.70 million by M/s Sterling & Wilson - Waaree (JV), with M/s WAPCOS being Project Management Consultants. The project is spread in 25 acres of land and total 21,231 Solar Panels have been installed. The project has just been completed and has already started generating power. Malbaza is located about 460 kms away in East from Niamey. Niger has been looking forward for this ambitious project as this project would provide electricity to approximately 30,000 houses in the regions of Agadez, Diffa, Maradi and Tahoua. 2. At the Inauguration ceremony, the Minister of Energy said that construction of the Solar Power Plant is part of the Niger Renaissance Program initiated by the President of Niger. She expressed her gratitude to the Indian authorities and the EXIM Bank of India for the financial assistance. The Power Plant connected to the Nigerien Electricity Network will contribte significantly to covering the energy needs of the Madaoua, Malbaza and Konni areas. She added that the inauguration of the Plant is coupled with the electrification of 50 villages in the regions of Agadez, Diffa, Maradi and Zinder. 3. During his Address, Ambassador of India to Niger, H.E. Mr. Rajesh Agarwal mentioned that this project is in line with the Government of India’s commitment to Africa as India attaches greater importance to Africa. In the 3rd Indian-Africa Forum Summit which was held in October 2015 in India, India had committed funds of US$ 10 billion for development partnership and US$ 600 million grant assistance for Africa. This commitment has been reiterated by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his Address to the Ugandan Parliament in July 2018 in which he mentioned that India’s engagement with Africa will continue to be guided by the 10 Principles which state that Africa will be at the top of India’s priorities; India will keep its markets open and make it easier and more attractive to trade with Africa; India will work with Africa to improve Africa’s agriculture. India-Africa partnership will also address the challenges of climate change. To intensify India’s overall engagements with Africa, Government of India has decided to open 19 more Resident Diplomatic Missions in African capitals, out of which Indian Embassy in Rwanda is already operational. 4. After inauguration of the project, the Prime Minister took a round of the project site and sought information on the functioning of project. There was enormous happiness among the local population and the local community was appreciative of the GoI’s LoC project which has been well executed.

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