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Construction starts for West Africa’s largest solar plant in Mali

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Mali has kicked off the construction of West Africa’s largest solar plant with Russia support a move it hopes will help tackle electricity crisis in the country and spur its struggling economy.

The country has in recent days recorded power outages that have lasted up to 18 hours a day, a situation that Energy Minister Bintou Camara terms as unfortunate.

The 200 MW solar plant will cover 314 hectares in Sanankoroba, near Bamako. Grigory Nazarov, director of Novawind, a subsidiary of Russian company Rosatom, said the plant will boost Mali’s electricity production by 10%.

Novawind, a subsidiary of Russia’s state-owned nuclear group Rosatom, partnered with the Malian Government in November 2023 to develop two solar projects totalling 240 MWp, namely the 100 MWp Bougouni solar park and the 140 MWp Sanankoroba solar park, in southern Mali.

The agreement also included the construction of the 225 kV Sikasso-Bougouni-Sanankoroba-Bamako transmission line. All projects are scheduled to be completed before the end of December 2024.

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