• Jacobs Engineering Group of the US has been awarded program management consultancy contract for four solar PV projects in Benin under Benin Power Compact program
  • Contract has been given by an aid program of the US government, MCA-Benin II
  • Benin wants to develop 45 MW of solar PV capacity under Benin Power Compact program, along with 1 MW of micro-hydropower capacity
  • Jacobs will operate on these projects through its JV, Jacobs Engineering S.A. with OCP Group; it will also be responsible for laying of new transmission lines, new substations and a dispatch centre

US based Jacobs Engineering Group Inc., has won a 4-year program management consultancy contract to implement Benin Power Compact, that entails engineering, project and construction management for 4 solar PV plants in the African nation of Benin. It also includes laying of new transmission lines, new substations and a dispatch centre. Jacobs will carry out the work through its joint venture with phosphate derivatives company OCP Group, Jacobs Engineering S.A. (JESA) that’s located in Morocco.

The contract has been awarded by Millennium Challenge Account-Benin II (MCA-Benin II), an aid program of the US government for various nations. As the name suggest, this one is exclusively for Benin. MCA-Benin II was set up by the Government of Benin to implement the program with $375 million in US funding, and another $28 million from Benin itself.

The official statement from Benin doesn’t specify the exact PV capacity it has been contracted to develop in the country. However, this capacity is part of the Benin Power Compact through which the country wants to increase its total installed capacity by almost 46 MW. It comprises 45 MW from solar PV capacity and 1 MW of micro-hydropower capacity.

Once installed by 2022, it will account for 20% of the current demand of the country during peak periods. It will expand the country’s existing network capacity. Jacobs says it is working in close collaboration with the government and its agencies in Benin as well as with the Beninese Company of Electrical Energy (SBEE).

As part of the Benin Power Compact, off-grid electrification will be financed through a competitive grant facility that will fund critical public infrastructure, household solar photovoltaic systems, mini-grids, and energy efficiency measures.

Earlier during the year, French Development Agency (AFD) issued an expression of interest (EoI) seeking consultants to conduct a feasibility study for a 25 MW PV plant in Benin, which would be the first ground-mount solar park for the country (see 25 MW PV Tender For Benin).