Legal wrangling over coal fired power increases electricity costs in Mauritius
August 17, 2012
At the moment the country’s Central Electricity Board (CEB) is heavy dependent on heavy fuel oil (HFO) for its base and mid-merit power generation. It is believed that the marginal cost of electricity in Mauritius from coal would be about US7.5c/kWh compared to US16c/kWh for electricity generated using heavy fuel oil. At the moment the country’s five independent power producers (IPPs) provide electricity at an average price of just under US12c/kWh.
Uncertainly has surrounded the CT power project for five years, and has seen the CEB invest in six 15 MW HFO run engines at Fort Victoria station to meet its demand growth.
Meanwhile, the Mauritian government, through the ministry of finance, has issued a request for the recruitment of a transactional advisor for a two by 50 MW coal power plant. The selected adviser will advise government on the preparation of the tender documents for the launching of a request for proposals by CEB for the construction, commissioning and operation of such a power plant.
However, the lead time for the conclusion of a power purchase agreement with the successful bidder could be at least nine months. This time constraint could press CEB to invest in a new two by 15 MW fuel oil power plants at St Louis to meet its capacity demand for the 2015 horizon.