PUC 33kV project inaugurated |02 October 2023
South Mahé gets more reliable
and efficient electricity network
By Laura Pillay
Residents and businesses in the southern region of Mahé now have access to a more robust, reliable, and efficient electricity network, with the inauguration of the Public Utilities Corporation (PUC) 33kV network South Mahé project.
The project was inaugurated during a ceremony at the Anse Royale substation on Saturday morning.
President Wavel Ramkalawan was joined by the chief executive of the Saudi Fund for Development (SFD) Sultan Abdulrahman Al-Marshad, and representative of the Arab Bank of Economic Development in Africa (BADEA), Ebe Babah, the project’s main financiers, in unveiling the plaque.
The 33kV project emerged out of a necessity and urgency to revolutionise the electricity transmission and distribution network in the South, South East, and West regions of Mahé.
At a cost of US $30.9 million, PUC has constructed eight modern substations, equipped with state-of-the-art technologies. These substations are interconnected by a network of approximately 300 kilometres of 33kV cable and 40 kilometres of 11kV cable.
The deployment of the underground network, extending from the Roche Caiman Power Station to Turtle Bay and branching out to Anse Boileau through multiple routes, has brought about a remarkable transformation in the reliability of the electrical system.
The incorporation of a Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system enables PUC to efficiently monitor, control, and operate the network remotely.
Response times during power outages have dramatically decreased, and the system now boasts spare capacity to provide power to affected areas in times of need. This underground network has significantly reduced vulnerability to adverse weather conditions, ensuring uninterrupted service.
At present, three new circuits of 33kV transmission lines and nine 33kV substations, including eight from this project, cater to the South. With the transformation of four existing 11kV networks into 40 feeders, fewer consumers are impacted during planned shutdowns or breakdowns.
Minister for Agriculture, Climate Change, and Environment (MACCE), Flavien Joubert, emphasised that the upgrade ensures that citizens have access to the amenities necessary for a good quality of life, securing Seychelles’ electricity needs for the next two decades.
“Seychelles' electricity demand had been steadily increasing, and the existing infrastructure had reached its limits. Left on its own, the network would have reached a point where it could not provide a dependable electricity supply,” he said.
Minister Joubert added that the project serves to open the door for major hotel developments that were previously unable to connect to the national grid, holding the promise of a brighter, more resilient future for the people of Seychelles.
The SFD contributed $20 million towards the total cost of the project. Mr Al-Marshad underscored the vital role electricity plays in powering modern life and fueling socio-economic progress.
In addition to improving the lives of the people, Mr Al-Marshad highlighted that the project also contributes towards the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), specially SDG 7, which calls for universal access to affordable, sustainable, and modern energy.
PUC’s upcoming mission involves revitalising the current 33kV overhead power system, with the aim of modernising the nation’s infrastructure. The organisation has assured that it will collaborate closely with local residents, fostering open communication and transparency to find solutions that benefit everyone.
Photos by Joena Meme