Pape Dieng
Pape Dieng steps down due to persistent power cuts

On Monday, Senegal’s President Macky Sall relieved the National Electricity Company (Senelec) director general of his duties due to the utility’s poor performance.

Director general Pape Dieng, has been dismissed following the consistent power outages in the West African country, which was announced during the restructuring of the Cabinet by Senegalese Prime Minister Mohammad Dionne on national television, Spy Ghana reported.

Cabinet restructure

Senegalese budget minister Mamadou Makhtar Cisse has been appointed as the new head of Senelec.

Thierno Alassane Sall will replace Maimouna Ndoye Seck at the energy ministry, while Seck will take the role of tourism and air transport minister, media reported.

Former tourism and air transport minister Abdoulaye Diouf Sarr, will replace Oumar Youm as minister for local government and rural development.

Youm will now serve as the director in the office of the president, SpyGhana reported.

Senegalese energy mix

Senegal has been taking steps towards improving the current state of the energy sector by diversifying its energy mix.

In May, Senelec, entered into a preliminary agreement with Qatar-based Nebras Power and Japanese power company Mitsui & Co, to build a floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) regasification terminal and a 400MW gas power station.

Senelec said in an earlier statement: “The objective of the Senegalese government is to boost the country’s growth by a steady power supply at a competitive cost.”

Reuters reported that Nebras is 60% controlled by Qatar Electricity and Water Company, 20% by Qatar Holding and 20% by Qatar Petroleum International.

Growing generation capacity

In Q3 2014, Senegal’s national utility Societe Nationale d’Electricite du Senegal signed a deal with international power generation company ContourGlobal to construct a 53MW thermal facility under a 20-year power purchase agreement.

With a $100 million investment, the new plant is designed to burn heavy fuel oil and natural gas and when completed in 2015 will be the lowest-cost liquid fuel and natural gas-fired power plant in Senegal.

ContourGlobal will install Wartsila 18V46 high efficiency engines, a technology that has been used by ContourGlobal in Togo and Rwanda. The engines will be coupled with a steam turbine technology known as ‘flexi-cycle’ to increase the generation capacity, thereby further reducing the cost of electricity.