Puntland, UAE fund 7 MWp power plant in Bosaso
BOSAASO | Puntland launched a 7 Mega Watt peak [MWp] in collaboration with the United Arab Emirates at the seaport town of Bosaso on Wednesday, a project which is expected to double production of solar power in Somalia, a nation which has been in turmoil for decades.
Senior regional officials attended the ground-breaking ceremony in the town, a function which was also graced by officials from the United Arab Emirates, which will partly fund the project through Abu Dhabi Fund Development [ADfD].
The project, Puntland said in a statement, will be implemented by Smart Gulf Solar, a UAE-based company which is the main contractor. The company has a reputation for constructing such power plants across the globe, officials said.
Ahmed Mohamed Yusuf, Puntland's minister for Energy, Minerals, and Water, who represented President Said Abdullahi Deni, said the construction will start immediately until it's finalized for opening.
The project, he said, will give access to renewable clean energy and electricity within Bosaso, the first in the history of Puntland. The project, Mohamed said, is part of Deni's promise to reduce the cost of electricity in the federal state of Somalia.
"The solar project will provide substantial access to clean renewable and sustainable electricity to Bosaso, the first in the history of Puntland," read the statement from Puntland administration.
"It aims at helping the president in delivering his promises on supporting the energy sector in Puntland, and reduce the costs of electricity production, which will significantly benefit the people of Bosaso," the statement read in part.
Even before the launching of the project, Puntland had initiated a number of activities to pave way for the construction of the plant, the statement further read, in what could significantly boost the investment within the town and its environs.
"To date, Puntland has made a number of steps to commence the implementation of the project. They prepared a step-by-step plan on the groundwork, which includes setting up a town plan, upgrade of road, and grid-power infrastructure," Puntland said.
The UAE will provide support and investment to several projects in Bosaso, such as the port and airport according to Puntland, which would boost the exposure of the town to the world through the Indian Ocean.
Mohamed hailed the United Arab Emirates for the mega project adding that it would help the state create more jobs besides boosting Small and Media Scale enterprises, thus improving the social-economic status of locals.
"We thank the government of Puntland and the Abu Dhabi Fund Development for financing this project. It was quite necessary for the people of Bosaso and Puntland at large. We're extremely grateful for this," he said.
The project comes at the time federal states are at loggerheads with the federal government of Somalia following the signing of petroleum law, which was hastily passed by parliament without the input of the regional administrations.