This interview was originally published in the Africa Energy Series: Equatorial Guinea
Liu Yazhong, Director General of Sinohydro
What are your activities in Equatorial Guinea to date?
Sinohydro is the largest sub-brand under PowerChina Corporation. Its business is not only in the construction of power and energy facilities, water resources and conveyance, but also in environmental treatment, infra- structure and real estate development.
The main business of Sinohydro includes power and energy, water conveyance and treatment, railways and subways, roads, airports, buildings, municipal infrastructure and other works. We encompass the entire development stream, including planning, investment, engineering, procurement, construction, installation, manufacturing, and operation.
Sinohydro entered Equatorial Guinea in 2006, signing the EPC contract for the Djibloho hydro project with the government in March 2007. That project was put into operation in November 2011 and we were awarded the President’s Gold Medal for our work.
What other major projects are you working on?
Our completed projects include:
- Djibloho hydropower project
- Bata power grid extension and modernization (phase I)
- Regulation reservoir at Djibloho
- Mongomeyen grid modernization
- Ongoing projects include:
- Bata power grid extension and modernization project (phase II)
- Operation and maintenance of the Djibloho hydropower project
Is Equatorial Guinea close to achieving its national electrification goals set out in the Horizon 2020 plan?
With strong promotion by the government of Equatorial Guinea, the electrification plans have been rapidly realized. These boost the growth of the economy and improve the lives of people. Equatorial Guinea is very close to achieving its national electrification goals. With the endeavors of the government, it is likely the country will achieve the national electrification goals in the Horizon 2020 plan.
What is the potential for renewable energy sources to play an even bigger role in the energy mix of Equatorial Guinea?
There is abundance of water resources and huge potential for hydraulic energy in Equatorial Guinea. Consequently, hydropower is still the main energy source to be developed in the future. Solar power is also an important option for the government. Once all current power projects are completed, Equatorial Guinea can potentially generate four times more power than national demand.
What is the potential for exporting power to neighbor states?
Power export to adjacent countries has great potential. On that premise, there is a power procurement treaty between the governments. High voltage transmission lines will be needed for this plan, of course.
How can Equatorial Guinea attract more investors to the power sector?
This is an excellent market with high potential for independent power producers to enter into Equatorial Guinea. International investors can be encouraged by the drafting of preferential laws and regulations.
Is gas to power the best way to monetize gas reserves?
Converting gas reserves into electricity by thermal power plants, and then transmitting surplus power to adjacent countries is the best way to change the gas reserves of the country into currency.
What is Sinohydro’s message to potential investors looking at Equatorial Guinea at this key moment?
The stable politics, complete infrastructure, the positive trend of industrialization, the strong will of the government for diverse economic development are all strengths. We believe that Equatorial Guinea is the perfect market for committed investors.
This interview was originally published in the Africa Energy Series: Equatorial Guinea book.