Hydro-Quebec buys stake in Senelec

A consortium of Hydro-Quebec International and France`s Elyo has been selected to be a strategic partner for Senegal`s state power company, Societe Nationale d`Electricite (Senelec). The consortium was selected from four bids and will take a 34 per cent stake.

Hydro-Quebec International and Elyo, a unit of Suez Lyonnaise des Eaux, are equal partners in the consortium which will pay $66m for the stake in Senelec. The Senegal-ese government will retain up to 41 per cent of Senelec, with employees able to buy up to ten per cent of shares.

Other bidders in the privatization included Electricité de France, Union Fenosa, Eskom and Cinergy. Senegalese President Abdou Diouf recently urged the government to speed up privatization of state companies to create a competitive economic environment and encourage investment.

Senegal, and its capital city Dakar, suffer frequent power cuts due to capacity shortages. Hydro-Quebec International is currently completing a turnkey contract for a 37 MW power plant in the country, while GE Nuovo Pignone last month announced that it has received a contract worth $40m to supply equipment to a 50 MW extension to the Cap Des Biches power plant.