The Energy Sector Rehabilitation Project focuses on the rehabilitation and expansion of the hydro power plant of Contador, located on the island of S. Tome. ALER had the opportunity to visit Contador's power plant during the field trip in May 2015, whose photo report ilustrates this article.
Contador's power plant is a power generation system that has been built and is operating for about 50 years. In the last few decades the system has not received the required maintenance and a significant part of its components displays accelerated levels of degradation which, among other things, translate into low energy production. It is estimated that from a potential of 4 MW of power that the scheme can produce currently it is only able to produce close to 2.0 MW.
At present most of the energy in Sao Tome and Principe comes from fossil fuels, which translates into an enormous financial burden for the country since at present and in the near future it is a net importer of such fuels. Apart from the financial burden, imported fossil fuels have significant negative environmental implications which makes them undesirable, particularly given the significant potential of cleaner energy sources in S . Tome and Principe. The contribution from hydroelectric sources stands at only about 11% -25% of installed capacity and close to 11% of firm energy is currtenly concentrated in a single source, precisely Contador.
The development of Contador as proposed under this project has a strong relevance in this context. The project will demonstrate the potential of hydro power as a cleaner energy source, more economic and adequate to meet the country's development combined interests in the medium and long term.
In addition to the Government of Sao Tome and Principe, the project is funded by the World Bank (WB), in order to support the Government of Sao Tome and Principe to achieve higher sustainability levels in the energy production.
One of the requirements for this project is the preparation of an Environmental and Social Management Framework (ESMF) for the Energy Sector Rehabilitation Project in Sao Tome and Principe, which can be downloaded here.
The proposed project will be following a programmatic approach covering the entire Energy Sector value chain on the Island of São Tomé and has four components, namely:
Find out more information here.