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Floating Power Plants May be the Energy Mix Africa Needs

One of the world’s largest operators of floating power plants is in talks to bring power to two West African countries, as onshore plans to expand access to electricity have been hit by coronavirus-related restrictions. Karpowership, the unit of Turkey’s Karadeniz Energy, which already supplies eight African countries, is using the high reliability of its mobile units to attract more clients. Its vessels can hook into an onshore grid quickly, sidestepping the red-tape and construction issues involved with building a traditional power plant. And these ships come with their own fuel — liquefied natural gas and fuel oil. Karpowership, which supplies nearly 1,400MW to countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, is seeking to provide an additional 1,000MW to existing and new clients in the region this year, Harezi said. While the pandemic has increased the appeal of its model, it’s also affected the company’s plans to list shares in London. The company is seeking to convert more of its fleet to natural gas from heavy fuel, Harezi said. It’s already converted a ship that supplies 470MW to Ghana. It intends to switch to liquefied natural gas in Mozambique this year, and eventually in Senegal too, she said.