Energy fund approves $1m grant for Mauritian cooling project
10 January 2014
Development fund, the Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (Sefa), has approved a $1-million project preparation grant to support construction group Sotravic in the development and installation of a sea water air conditioning system in Mauritius - the low-carbon technology lowers building cooling costs by using cold ocean water.
The Deep Ocean Water Application (Dowa) project comprises the construction and operation of a system to pump cold water from the Indian Ocean for use in air conditioning systems in buildings located in the country's capital, Port Louis, and nearby regions.
Once completed, the project would replace energy-intensive traditional air conditioning systems in buildings, which consume the equivalent of 30 MW of electricity.
In contrast, the ocean water-cooling system would require only 4 MW of electrical power to operate.
Sefa, a $60-million facility managed by the African Development Bank (AfDB) and seeded by Danish development corporation Danida and the US Agency for Economic Development, said in a statement on Wednesday that the AfDB would play a key role throughout the development phase of the project by engaging with the promoter and key partners to structure a bankable project for long-term financing.
Sefa would finance offshore feasibility studies, which include marine surveys and preliminary designs, and would also undertake a preliminary assessment of the environmental and social impacts of the Dowa project.
Following the approval of the grant, AfDB Energy, Environment and Climate Change director Alex Rugamba said the project would explore synergies between the ocean and Mauritius' energy sector to identify ways in which significant cost, energy and carbon savings could be delivered, while also creating jobs and new business opportunities.
"This is perfectly aligned with the bank's new strategy [of] focusing on supporting African countries in their transition to more green and inclusive growth models," he commented.
Original article by Natalie Greve