May 26, 2019
World Market

Power Projects Boost Regional Economy in West Africa

Power Projects Boost Regional Economy in West Africa

Electrification projects in West Africa are driving the region's economic development, resulting in growing demand for equipment and services from suppliers around the world. This is according to John Thomson, Managing Director of Exhibition Management Services, organisers of the West African Mining and Power Exhibition (WAMPEX), the region's foremost power and energy exhibition. WAMPEX takes place in Accra, Ghana from 6 to 8 June 2012.

The construction of new plants, refurbishment of existing facilities and the expansion of various networks for thermal, hydro-electric and combined power plants all require procurement of equipment and services.

Thomson says that growing government commitment, combined with increased funding from international institutions, has significantly increased the pace of project planning and implementation, especially since WAMPEX’s establishment a decade ago. He highlights some recent developments as examples: the rehabilitation of Kainji Hydropower Station in Nigeria worth US$82 million; a 132mW combined cycle power plant at Ghana’s power station at Aboadze valued at over US$ 185 million, and a US$350 million power plant in Liberia.


Thomson singles out Ghana as one of several countries undergoing a surge in power development projects. “These will increase total installed generation capacity to 3 600mW by 2013 – an increase of 65%,” he notes. The second-largest gold producer in Africa, Ghana’s energy intensive mining sector now accounts for 12.5% of total electricity consumption. An increase of 26% in electricity consumption is forecast between 2011 and 2015 – reaching a total of 13 169GWh.

Ghana’s Deputy Minister of Energy, Alhaji Inusah Fuseini, recently reiterated the government’s commitment to electrification. “In pursuance of Government’s plans to accelerate the programme for universal access to electricity, currently US$966.55 million from partners and the government has been committed to ongoing electricity projects in about 4 880 communities nationwide,” he said. On completion, these projects will give 8 301 urban and rural communities access to electricity, and national access to electricity would exceed 80%.

Where in Africa?

The case for investing in Sub-Sahara Africa (SSA) is strong. SSA comprises of 46 countries (including South Sudan) with vastly differing economies. Looking at three key issues: market size, market growth and the operating environment, by weighing these three equally, indicative Top 10 rankings for Investments in African destinations are: South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Botswana, Kenya, Uganda, Angola and Zambia. Given the differing needs of businesses, these rankings may be considered indicative rather than prescriptive.

Interconnection Projects

Apart from individual power projects, a number of regional interconnection projects are also being implemented. The West African Power Pool will interconnect the power grids from Ivory Coast, Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone across 1 400km servicing 200 million people. The interconnection project, valued at US$453-million, will require the construction of 1 350 km of high voltage transmission lines, and the construction and expansion of 12 high voltage substations in all four countries.

“The nature of the projects demands a wide spectrum of equipment, components, ancillaries and services from construction through to maintenance,” adds Thomson.

Besides basic power generation, transmission and distribution, facilities also require standby power and generators, engineering and project management, alternative power systems, cables, circuit breakers, control gear, distribution boards, earth leakage systems, circuit protectors and testers, instrumentation, lighting, meters, relays, switches, surge protectors and transformers. “Power projects have service needs long after completion,” he continues.

“WAMPEX brings together key role players in West Africa’s electricity and power sector,” says Thomson. “They use the event to get the latest updates on developments in West Africa and grow their supplier and customer networks.”

Thomson says the event provides unparalleled opportunities for suppliers to increase their profile and network with all 15 countries in West Africa.


This is the 10th International Exhibition for suppliers to West Africa’s rapidly growing power and mining sectors. International suppliers of equipment, technology, services and consumables, as well as those companies offering power generating equipment, transmission and distribution equipment and technology, will be present to showcase their products and services.

The event is organised by Exhibition Management Services in association with EPI Events and Projects International Limited.

Contact Serean at Exhibition Management Services.
Tel+27 (0)11 783 7250.
Fax +27 (0)11 783 7269.