China to build power plant in Central African Republic

The Central African Republic (CAR) said on Monday it had signed a 14 billion CFA franc (US$30.6 million) deal with a Chinese company to complete construction of a 10 megawatt power plant that would increase power supply to the capital.

Bangui, the capital of the poor Central African state with a population of about 750,000, suffers severe power outages. Its two 50-year-old power plants supply about 18 MW.

Residents are subject to daily power cuts, and neighbourhoods are left without electricity sometimes for one to two weeks in a month.

Residents took to the streets on 23 June to protest after a long spell of cuts.

“When completed, the station (located 100 km north of the city) will produce 10 MW in addition to 18 MW produced by the other two plants,” Energy Minister Leopold Mboli Fatrane said at the signing ceremony.

Construction of the plant will be financed with a loan of 14 billion CFA francs from the Chinese government.

Investors have largely avoided the country due to its lack of infrastructure and political instability, despite its abundant resources including gold, timber and diamond.

President Francois Bozize, who came to power in a 2003 coup, has been dogged by a string of rebellions across the former French colony, which has endured years of misrule since independence in 1960. (Reuters)

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