Toyota Tsusho Corporation, a prominent Japanese company, has announced a significant milestone in the realm of renewable energy. The company has signed a contract with the Beninese Electricity Production Company, operating under the Ministry of Energy and Water, for the establishment of a 25 MW solar power plant. This groundbreaking project is set to be located in the Pobè region of Benin, making it the first large-scale renewable energy power plant construction venture in West Africa by a Japanese entity.
The motivation behind this initiative stems from Toyota Tsusho’s track record of advancing renewable energy generation in Africa. Notable achievements include the successful completion of a substantial geothermal power plant, the largest power provider in Kenya, with a total capacity of 280 MW, in 2015. Furthermore, the commencement of commercial operations for a wind power project in Egypt, boasting a cumulative capacity of 262 MW, took place in 2019.
Benin, situated in West Africa, aims to enhance its electricity coverage with increased self-sufficiency and reduced reliance on electricity imports from neighboring countries. The country predominantly relies on thermal power generation facilities. In response to these challenges, Benin has formulated a national plan emphasizing renewable energy development, particularly solar photovoltaic power. The goal is to establish a total solar power generation capacity of 150 MW by 2026.
The execution of the Project was preceded by a project development study conducted by Toyota Tsusho, with support from the Benin government and relevant entities. This study was conducted under the “Feasibility Study Project of Overseas Development for High-Quality Energy Infrastructure,” sponsored by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry in FY2021.
Subsequent to the study, the project garnered approval from the Benin government. Collaborating with RMT, a German EPC (Engineering Procurement and Construction) company and a subsidiary of the EIFFAGE Group, Toyota Tsusho will construct the 25 MW solar power plant in the Pobé region. The anticipated completion date for the construction is 2024.
Positioned as a Japanese public-private partnership initiative, this ambitious solar power plant is set to serve as a reliable source of electricity at a reduced cost. Toyota Tsusho is committed to contributing to a decarbonized society and promoting green economic growth across Africa. The company envisions achieving these goals by creating and harnessing new renewable energy sources, ultimately striving to pass on a more environmentally sustainable world to future generations.