The $340m Rades C plant is about 10 km east of the capital, Tunis, and will have a capacity of 450 MW.
Initial gas turbine operation is scheduled to be finished before summer 2019, with combined cycle full operation expected a year later, at which time the plant will provide about 10 per cent of Tunisia’s total power generating capacity.
The plant is being built by Japan’s Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems (MHPS) and Sumitomo Corporation for Société Tunisienne de l’Electricité et du Gaz (STEG).
Sumitomo will provide balance of plant and undertake civil and installation work, MHPS will supply a M701F gas turbine and a steam turbine, and Mitsubishi Electric Corporation will provide generators.
MHPS Europe, a subsidiary of MHPS, will provide a heat recovery steam generator and some ancillary components and it has also signed a six-year maintenance contract for the plant.
Satoshi Uchida, chief executive of MHPS Europe, said: “The groundbreaking ceremony of Rades C is another milestone, not only for MHPS and our consortium partners, but also an important step for the future development of the Republic of Tunisia, as new power sources are vital for economic growth.”