Pan-African firm Eranove Group is to finance, develop, build and operate a 42MW hydroelectric project in Mali, after signing a 30-year concession agreement with the country’s government through its subsidiary Kenié Energie Renouvelable.

The Kenié hydroelectric dam project will be located in Baguinéda on the Niger River, 35km east of Bamako. Initial simulations suggest that the Kenié dam could produce around 175GWh, which is equivalent to the average annual consumption of 175,000 households. The project will enable Mali to make better use of its hydroelectric potential and reduce its dependence on imported hydrocarbons.

"With an estimated potential of 400,000MW, hydroelectric power is one renewable energy source that is in abundant supply in Africa. As part of the regional integration of power transmission networks, hydroelectricity can play a key role in increasing power generation capacity," commented Marc Albérola, CEO of the Eranove Group. "We mustn’t forget micro and pico hydroelectricity either. These small hydroelectric facilities can supply power to villages or groups of villages in remote areas far away from interconnected transmission systems."

Construction is due to begin on the project in 2016 and the dam would be put into operation in 2020. It will then be operated under a concession agreement by Kenié Energie Renouvelable, a new subsidiary of the Eranove Group, whose shareholders will also include IFC InfraVentures.