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Tender news: Burkina Faso Ministry seeks turnkey contractors for solar plant

burkina faso region
The landlocked west African country, Burkina Faso, relies heavily on diesel imports for power generation

Tender deadline: 6 October 2015-Closed

In West Africa, the Ministry of the Economy and Finance of Burkina Faso has issued a two part tender notice for the upgrade of two high-voltage transmission substations in Zagtouli, Ouaga I and Quaga II, and the development of a 33MW solar power plant commissioned by the National Electricity Company of Burkina Faso (Sonabel).

Two contracts will be awarded to turnkey contractors, which include three lots:

  1. The design and construction of a 33MW solar power plant; take responsibility for the operation of the plant for the first two-years and provide training to Sonabel.
  2. Upgrading: Replacing the transformer (20 MVA 90/33/34,5 kV) in Zagtouli with a 90/33-kV transformer of 40 MVA; add a 33/34,5-kV transformer; purchase and install a transformer (90/15-kV) at Ouaga 1.
  3. Purchase and install an SVC (Static Var Compensator) at the Zagtouli substation; commission the second 90-kV three-phase transmission line at Quaga 2.

There are three lots, which interested bidders may bid for either individually or together. Bidders may not submit more than one tender per lot and tenders for only a part of a lot will not be considered.

Lot 1 = Strengthening the Zagtouli substation (excluding SVC)

Lot 2 = Strengthening the Quaga 1 and Quaga 2 substations

Lot 3 = SVC

Energy resources

The West Africa country is heavily reliant on the import of fossil fuel for power generation.  According to the energy ministry, the country’s renewable energy sector plays an insignificant role despite the region having vast amounts of sunlight. The industry lacks finances needed for the necessary power expansion and new power generation infrastructure.

This has motivated Sonabel to commission the 33MW solar power plant.

Bidder requirements

Interested bidders must meet the following criteria:

An annual turnover for the past 3 years (2012, 2013, 2014) must have been at least $2 million.

The ratio of short-term assets to short-term liabilities must be at least 1.5

Bidder’s professional capacity—the bidder must:

  1. Have at least five people for lots 1 and 2, and two people for lot 3, on the bidder’s staff complement who have worked during the past three years (from the tender submission date) in fields related to this contract (high voltage for lots 1 and 2, and SVC for lot 3);
  2. Provide evidence that the bidder has the following staff for the project in this contract notice:  at least one electrotechnical/electrical engineer or equivalent for lots 1 and 2 (CVs to be included), at least two electrotechnical engineers (or equivalent) with proven experience in the SVC field (CVs to be included). At least one of said engineers will need to work at the Zagtouli site throughout the installation period

For each lot tendered for, the bidder must have successfully completed in the past three years (from the tender submission date):

Lot 1: at least two projects involving the supply and installation of HVB transformers (each one of at least 90 kV)

Lot 2: at least two projects involving the strengthening of HVB-HVA transformer substations

Lot 3: the dimensioning, design, installation, setting up and commissioning of at least 1 SVC with capacitive correction exceeding 10 MVAr connected to an HVB network

Over the past three years (from the tender submission date) the bidder must have successfully completed at least one project in the electrical field (in general) in an African country.

Bid submissions

Eligible bidders both local and international are encouraged to apply however, the products to be supplied under each contract must derive from the country of the winning bidder.

Bidders must provide a financial refundable guarantee of:

Lot 1 = $22,000

Lot 2 = $11,000

Lot 3 = $33,000

The tender notice states that the guarantee will be refunded to unsuccessful bidders once the invitation to tender procedure has been completed. The successful bidders will receive the funds once the contract has been signed by all parties concerned.

Further information can be addressed to:


Director-General of Sonabel,

55, avenue de la Nation,

01 PO Box 54, Ouagadougou 01,


Phone: +226 25306100/02/03/04

E-mail: courrier@sonabel.bf

Tender submission

Applications must be completed in French and can be submitted at or before 6 October 2015, 09:30am (local time). Late submissions will not be considered.

The invitation to tender is available at:


Tender applications must be delivered to the following address:


Director-General of Société nationale d’électricité du Burkina (Sonabel),

55, avenue de la Nation,

01 PO Box 54, Ouagadougou 01,


Tel: +226 50306100/02/03/04

E-mail: courrier@sonabel.bf

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Ashley Theron
Ashley Theron-Ord is based in Cape Town, South Africa at Clarion Events-Africa. She is the Senior Content Producer across media brands including ESI Africa, Smart Energy International, Power Engineering International and Mining Review Africa.