Gesto Energy wins tender for photovoltaic power plant in Rwanda


Gesto Energy wins tender for photovoltaic power plant in Rwanda

The Portuguese Group will have TMM as partner. This South African company is headed by Commander Mário Ferreira, shareholder of sports society SAD-Vitória de Guimarães.

Gesto Enery, a consulting company headed by former Director-General of Energy Miguel Barreto, is strengthening its presence in the African market by winning the international tender for the construction and operation of a photovoltaic power plant in Rwanda. This project represents an investment of more than 20 million dollars (14.7 million euros) and will be one of the largest solar plants in eastern Africa. The project is undertaken in partnership with South African company TMM Renewables, controlled by Commander Mário Ferreira, the Luso-South African investor who is the main shareholder of Vitória de Guimarães sports society. This Portuguese emigrant, established for several decades in South Africa and recently decorated by President Cavaco Silva, holds already several assets in the areas of civil construction, real estate, renewable energies and electronic security. This photovoltaic park, located some 25 km from the Tanzania border and in the vicinity of Kabarondo, with an installed capacity of 10 megawatts, involves a 25 year contract.  The tender was launched by the local authority EWSA – Energy, Water and Sanitation Authority of Ruanda, in a contest that involved 15 bidders and several stages of selection. This will be the first joint project for Gesto Energy and TMM, after having taken part, unsuccessfully, in the renewable energy auction promoted by the South African government. The two investors were aiming for two photovoltaic power plants of 20 megawatts each, estimated at some 60 million euros, a figure base on prices practiced in the European market. According to Gesto Energy chairman Miguel Barreto, the partnering portfolio with TMM includes several projects, in different stages of development and in varied geographical areas. Such is the case of Rwanda, Tanzania and Botswana, where a new and important tender for the concession of renewable energies is expected for next year.

The ‘know how’ acquired by Miguel Barreto as head of the Energy Direction-General, facilitated the opening of doors in Cape Verde, in 2010. Besides the study on the integration of geothermal energy for the islands of Fogo and Santo Antão into the Cape Verde energy mix, the company also was commissioned to produce the renewables plan for the country.

Namibia came next, with a project centred on solar potential, as well as Mozambique, which hired Gesto Energy to map out the atlas of renewable energies for the country.  Gesto Energy has also won a tender launched by the World Bank for the mapping of renewable resources, having been assigned the hydroelectric area.