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A Regional Leader Powering Rapid Economic Growth

Article - February 14, 2014
The Compagnie Ivoirienne d’Électricité (Côte d’Ivoire Electricity Company) is investing in capacity, resources and quality to power rapid development
CIE, or Côte d’Ivoire Electricity Company, knows that its performance is critical to the achievement of Côte d’Ivoire’s ambitious goals for national development and economic and social growth. Its Director General, Dominique Kakou, states that “the government’s ambitions can only be achieved with an electricity supply system which excels in both quantity and quality”. National economic growth of 9.8 per cent in 2012 brought an increase in demand for electricity of 16 per cent and meeting this challenge has enabled the industrial sector to now constitute a strong second pillar of the country’s economy, after the traditional agricultural sector.
The company is present at all stages of the power supply chain, from generation through to transmission and distribution, not forgetting network maintenance. There had been no investment during the country’s crisis years and the subsequent fast take-off in economic recovery meant that there was electricity rationing for a period of four months in 2010. This problem was solved by contracting the British company Aggreko, who brought in 70MW of supply immediately (now set to grow to 200MW) and by then contracting the independent producers Azito and Ciprel to complete their gas combined-cycle stations.
Côte d’Ivoire’s present installed generation capacity is targeted to almost double to 3,000MW by 2020. At present, 70 per cent of production is thermal and 30 per cent hydro and the country has both abundant supplies of offshore gas and great hydroelectricity potential. Mr Kakou emphasises that another goal is to balance the supply mix, with the Soubré dam scheduled to bring 275MW more in hydropower in 2017. The country has ambitions as a regional supplier. As Mr Kakou says, “Côte d’Ivoire will soon have done very much what is needed to respond to supply challenges, not only nationally but also for the region.”
Mr Kakou sees CIE’s competitive advantage coming from reliability of supply, regionally competitive costs and continual investment in human resources and training, in addition to an unwavering emphasis on quality. He stresses the commitment to QSE (quality, security, environment) and CIE’s awareness of its responsibilities to society, including in terms of sustainable development.
CIE’s Director General strongly encourages British investors to come to Côte d’Ivoire, stating, “If Africa has become the number one destination for investment, then Côte d’Ivoire is the number one spot in Africa for investors to do good business.”