Independent power producer Tembo Power Holdings recently appointed Bertrand Rochecouste Collet, a former senior technical director at Zutari (previously Aurecon), as a managing director in charge of its engineering division as of 1 June 2021.
Rochecouste Collet brings nearly twenty years of hydropower engineering experience, having led the dam and hydropower service line for the Africa region at Zutari. His project experience includes work in more than 24 African countries, overseeing the entire project lifecycle of greenfield dams and run of river hydropower schemes.
Speaking with ESI Africa, he foresees getting involved without delay: “My first month will be focused on helping to bring Tembo’s 100MW DRC portfolio to a ready-to-build status and to finalise some potential acquisitions of operating assets in the region.
“The acquisitions will accelerate the growth of Tembo’s portfolio and will also showcase our long-term capability to also operate projects. We will demonstrate how serious Tembo is in becoming the leader in the small-to-medium hydropower market in Africa.”
Outlining his vision for Tembo’s engineering division, he shared with ESI Africa that the goal is to become self-sufficient to a large extent. “Having worked as a consultant most of my career, I would like to bring expertise to Tembo to reduce high-risk early development costs. I would also like to build the appropriate team with the right skills to efficiently and professionally lead projects throughout all stages of a project’s life cycle.”
“Such stages would include project identification, studies, contract negotiations, implementation and commissioning as well as long term operation and maintenance. The aim would be to strike the right balance between in-house engineering and the use of external consultants,” he said.
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He has held various roles across the entire hydropower activities spectrum for the most reputable investors and lenders in the industry. These positions include owner’s engineer, lender’s technical advisor, engineering in an EPC model, engineering and project manager in an EPCM – thus being involved in a significant share of those small to medium hydropower projects in Africa in the past decade.
Raphael Khalifa, founder of Tembo Power Holdings is excited to welcome the new MD for this division: “We are so excited to welcome Bertrand, the reference in Africa when it comes to hydropower engineering. Bertrand has led all our technical studies and, in addition to designing optimal solutions from a technical and economic point of view, he is known for bringing solutions on the practical and constructable aspects.
“He can also interact with all stakeholders of a project to find the right balance that will make it happen. We can’t wait for Bertrand to start and build his team with this pragmatic approach that made him instrumental to so many transactions in the last few years.”
Rochecouste Collet will help close Tembo’s current projects, expand its portfolio to more projects and countries, and grow its engineering team.
Tembo Power Holdings is an Independent Power Producer with a focus on small hydropower in sub-Saharan Africa. It is currently holding rights for 13 projects across Kenya, DRC, Burundi and Cameroon, for a total installed capacity of circa 300MW.