Sendou power station
The Sendou power station, also known as the Bargny power station, is a proposed 125-megawatt (MW) coal-fired plant in Sendou, Senegal. It is owned by the consortium Senelec, led by Nykomb Synergetics Development AB.
In December 2019 the project was called off, following years of opposition.
The international tender for the Sendou power station was launched on 18 November 2005. The agreement between the Minister of Energy of Senegal and the Director General of Senelec (Société nationale d'électricité du Sénégal) on one side and Nykomb Synergetics on other side was signed on 24 January 2008 in Dakar. The agreement stipulated construction and operation of the power station by the Nykomb Synergetics-led consortium, and generated power purchasing by Senelec. The power station is planned as a coal-fired single unit power station with a total generating capacity of 125 MW and a planned lifetime of 25 years.
The Environmental and Social Impact Assessment was done in March 2009. In November 2009, the African Development Bank (AFDB) approved a senior loan of up to Euros 55 million for Nykomb to build the plant. However, due to a lack of additional funds, the project was delayed for four years.
2015: Project halted by public opposition
In April 2015 a complaint was lodged against Nykomb alleging violation of the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises. The complaint stated that the project would be in close proximity to several inhabited structures; had not engaged meaningfully with local communities that publicly opposed the project; and would contribute to water and air pollution without an Environmental Management Plan.
In 2015 construction of the Sendou plant was halted, at least temporarily, because of funding problems and protest by Bargny residents, including a 100-km march organized by Waterkeeper Alliance.
2016: Construction resumes
In September 2016, it was reported that after a shutdown of several months, construction had resumed in January despite the financial difficulties and the hostility of local residents. Completion was expected in 2017. It was also reported that in July 2015 AFG agreed to sell its 50% share of the project to the Quantum group, owned by the Israeli magnate Idan Ofer, for 22 million Euros. Nykomb would also cede part of its participation to create a clear majority.
According to Environmental Justice Atlas, farmers report that bulldozers have entered their fields to clear the land in October 2017, and construction work continues. The farmers fear land grabbing without having been consulted. Satellite imagery from Planet shows the construction developments from April 2016 to March 2018.
Operation is planned for 2018, after which the plant may be converted to run on natural gas once more domestic gas is available.
In February 2019, the Board of Directors of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group approved the recommendations of the Independent Review Mechanism to bring the Sendou coal-fired power plant project into compliance with AfDB policies and procedures. The Board’s decision will trigger the process of resolving the main concerns raised by the complainants that the Sendou power plant will have negative impacts and consequences on their environments and their lives.
December 2019: Project called off
In December 2019, the President of Senegal said the project had been called off. According to 350.org, "The cancellation of the coal project comes after a series of technical failures, financial difficulties and conflicts between shareholders which had paralysed the project in the last four months, halting the importation of coal and causing the dismissal of project workers." According to Action Solidaire International, “While we as campaigners in Senegal welcome the presidential decision, we are wary of the ‘transition plan’ suggested by the Senegalese President that is considering turning the coal plant into a gas facility. We shall also resist this gas facility."
Senelec is a consortium that was incorporated to develop and operate the Sendou power station. The consortium is led by Nykomb Synergetics Development AB and it consists of Vattenfall Power Consult, Maytas, BHEL, BMCE Bank, Standard Bank of South Africa and Comptoir Balland-Brugneaux.
AfDB eligibility assessment
In April 2017, the Board of Directors of the African Development Bank (AfDB) approved the eligibility assessment for compliance review for the construction of the project. The Board also authorized that Independent Review Mechanism experts carry out further investigations to clarify issues raised in complaints representing adversely affected members of the local communities affected by the project. The groups raised the following issues: (1) unviable government policy, (2) violation of the National Code of the Environment in the selection of the project site, (3) increased vulnerability of communities to air pollution and potential disruption of livelihoods in a historic heritage site, (4) imminent health risks from air pollution, (5) vulnerability of the community to coastal erosion, (6) inadequate public consultations with affected people, and (7) breach of the AfDB's environmental, social, and human rights standards, especially due to the lack of a Resettlement Action Plan. The Bank stated that the problems needed to be mitigated before the plant begins operating at the end of 2017.
In February 2019 the AfDB announced that the board of directors had "approved the recommendations of the Independent Review Mechanism to bring the Sendou coal-fired power plant project in Senegal into compliance with Bank policies and procedures. The compliance review report was approved with a mitigation action plan prepared by the Bank’s management. The Board’s decision will trigger the process of resolving the main concerns raised by the complainants that the Sendou power plant will have negative impacts and consequences on their environments and their lives. The IRM will monitor the implementation of the Action Plan and report progress to the Board annually.
- Sponsor: Compagnie d’Electricité du Sénégal SA
- Parent company: Quantum Group (50+%), Nykomb Synergetics, Vattenfall Power Consult, Maytas, BHEL, BMCE Bank, Standard Bank of South Africa and Comptoir Balland-Brugneaux
- Location: Sendou, Bagny, Senegal
- Coordinates: 14.686988,-17.2139259 (exact)
- Status: Shelved
- Gross Capacity: 125 MW
- Type: Subcritical
- Start date:
- Coal Type:
- Coal Source: Imported via sea and unloaded at Dakar harbour, then transported by truck
- Source of financing: African Development Bank (the lead arranger and senior lender), Banque Ouest Africaine de Developpement (BOAD), CBAO Senegal (a subsidiary of Attijariwafa Bank - Morocco) and the Netherlands Development Bank
Articles and resources
- "Sénégal : construction d'une centrale électrique à charbon de 125 MW à Sendou (Senegal: Construction of 125 MW coal-fired power plant in Sendou)" (in French). Sud Online. 2008-02-02. Retrieved 2009-02-14.CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)
- "Senegal to build new 124 MW coal-fired power plant". Forbes. 2008-01-25. Retrieved 2009-02-14.
- "Swedish National Contact Point for the OECD Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises," OECD complaint, 29 April 2015
- "Senegal targets 70 pct increase in power capacity in 3 years," Reuters Africa, Nov 11, 2014
- Hannah Petersen and Peter Harrison, Senegal's Waterkeepers Lead a Sendoff for Coal-Fired Sendou," Waterkeeper Alliance Magazine, Fall 2016
- Amadou Oury Diallo, "Sénégal : la centrale de Sendou prête en 2017 ?" Jeune Afrique 23 September 2016
- "Coal power plant in Bargny, Senegal," EJ Atlas, updated Nov 2017
- "Senegal builds coal bridge to gas-fired power," Natural Gas Daily, Feb 23, 2018
- "Senegal: Board approves recommendations and mitigation action plan for Coal-Fired Power Plant Project", African Development Bank, February 1, 2019.
- "Senegal officially cancels its controversial Bargny Coal Plant," 350 Africa, December 10, 2019
- "Nykomb vann Build-Own-Operate budgivningen," Nykomb Synergetics, 2008-01-29, accessdate=2009-02-14
- Emmanuel K. Dogbevi, "AfDB Board approves coal plant project for electricity in Senegal," Ghana Business News, 21 April 2017
- "Recommendations for Senegal’s coal-fired project approved," ESI Africa, February 4, 2019