First major wind farm in Seychelles breaks ground
Abu Dhabi Fund for Development stump up cash for energy project
Seychelles President James Alix Michel and senior representatives from Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) and from Abu Dhabi’s multi-faceted renewable energy company Masdar laid the foundation stone of the 6MW wind farm at Seychelles today.
The wind farm was reportedly the brain-child of HH Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces and Ruler of Abu Dhabi, and President James Alix Michel, the wind farm project is the first major renewable energy project in the Seychelles and will constitute 11% installed capacity of electricity on the main island, which will cut down on fossil fuel import and reduce greenhouse gas emission.
His Excellency Mr. Mohammed Al Suwaidi, Acting Director General of ADFD, said: “This project comes in alignment with ADFD’s commitment to support sustainable economic development projects in developing countries. Although Abu Dhabi Fund for Development has been active in the Seychelles for over three decades, this project is a very special one as it will help in achieving the millennium goals of ensuring environmental sustainability by utilizing the renewable wind energy to meet the vital demand for electricity”.
Masdar will be the project manager of the wind farm on behalf of the Government of the Seychelles and ADFD.
Masdar has awarded Unison Co., a South Korean wind-power generation equipment maker, the contract to build the wind farm. Upon completion, PUC will take up ownership and operate and maintain the farm. One of the most significant projects in the Western Indian Ocean region, the wind farm will have eight turbines in all; five will be located on Romainville Island and three on Ile du Port.
Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, Chief Executive Officer of Masdar, said: “We are delighted to launch this project which strengthens the long-standing relationship between the UAE and Seychelles and exemplifies the importance of collaboration and partnership by leveraging resources and technical expertise to deliver vital renewable energy project in areas of need.
“The UAE leadership is committed to building bridges with developed and developing nations alike – and it is this far reaching vision that enables us to continue to progress in supporting the development and deployment of renewable energy technologies worldwide.”
Along with the president, the ceremony at Ile du Port in the island of Port Victoria, Seychelles, was attended by Bader Al Lamki, Director of Masdar Carbon, one of the integrated units of Masdar, and Rashed Al Kaabi, Projects Manager, Operations Department, ADFD. Seychelles Minister for Home Affairs, Environment, Transport and Energy, Mr. Joel Morgan, along with other senior government officials and representatives from Public Utilities Corporation (PUC) also attended the ceremony.
Minister Joel Morgan, Minister with portfolio responsibility for energy in Seychelles, said: “This announcement is a culmination of two years of close collaboration between Masdar and the Seychelles Energy Commission. For the Seychelles, electricity generated from wind is a material first step towards diversifying the Seychelles electricity supply system and in the process help mitigate risks associated with energy supply and climate change. The project represents a milestone in our endeavor to achieve a sustainable level of energy independence.”
The development of wind energy initiatives would also enhance the environmental credentials of Seychelles, bringing with it branding benefits for the island’s tourism industry.