Mammoet helps Burkina Faso realize a 20% power increase

PRESS RELEASE – Mammoet has completed a large power project which will help Burkina Faso to increase its national power generation capacity by almost 20%. The heavy-lift company was contracted to move several large engines, generators, transformers and turbochargers with a combined weight of approximately 1,300 tonnes.

By 2021, Burkina Faso seeks to increase electricity access from 20% to 80%, as part of its national plan for economic and social development. A key phase of this plan is an upgrade of the Kossodo thermal power plant project which will provide an additional 50MW capacity and strengthen the production capacity of the national network.

Contracted by Burkina Faso office of FRACHT France, a branch of FRACHT Group, Mammoet’s scope comprised complex land transportation of components from the Port of Takoradi in Ghana across the country to Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso, with a total distance of 1,400 kilometres.

Manufactured by Germany’s MAN Energy Solutions, the power plant expansion equipment consisted of three 325-tonne engines, three 59-tonne generators, two 80-tonne transformers and three 16-tonne turbochargers, ranging in length up to 13 metres, in height up to 6.6 meters and in width up to 6 metres.

Never before were cargo of these sizes and weights transported over such a distance in West Africa, as the local infrastructure was not built to move such cargo dimensions and weights, states Mammoet. The resulting maximum transport height of around eight meters meant the project team had to lift over 1,000 overhead power lines during the transport, in both Ghana and Burkina Faso.

Following several route surveys, Mammoet defined the most appropriate transport route. The operation required many small infrastructure changes en route, to negotiate potholed roads, overhead power lines and several structurally deficient bridges. In close collaboration with the Ghana Highway Authorities, police and Electricity Company of Ghana, Mammoet performed the required road modifications and bridge reinforcements in advance.

The components were delivered to West Africa by Jumbo Maritime. (Photo: Mammoet)

Covid-19

The coronavirus pandemic provided an additional challenge, as both countries closed their borders, thereby restricting cross-border movements, affecting mobilization of the crew and the entire operation. To ensure continuity of the project, with the support of Fracht France, its branch in Burkina Faso and the plant owner Sonabel, Mammoet mobilized the crew using a private charter flight and handled all required transport permits from the different government authorities.

Efficient planning, flexibility to adapt to circumstances and immaculate execution assured safe delivery of the cargo. It has now arrived at the Kossodo project site, ready for further installation using Mammoet’s jacking and skidding systems.

“This was one of the first projects in Africa where Mammoet and former ALE combined forces, just after the integration. Right from the start, we worked as one team, facing challenges and solving them on the spot, as the crew was committed to deliver the critical cargo safely and within the timeframes set by the client”, comments project manager William Soeters.

Once completed, Kossodo power plant aims to increase national generation capacity by almost 20%; doubling the number of customers to 1 million and contributing to the economic growth of the country by providing wider access to power.

Author: Tobias Pieffers

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