This is a best prospect industry sector for this country. Includes a market overview and trade data.
Last Published: 7/6/2017

 

Overview

The GOM’s energy policy encourages the use of renewable and clean energy to reduce the country’s dependence on fossil fuels and decrease greenhouse gas emissions.  The GOM has announced plans to increase use of renewable sources of energy from the current 22% to 35% by 2025. It aims to do this through wind farms, solar energy, biomass and waste-to-energy projects.  While bagasse (sugarcane waste) remains the key source of renewable energy (16%), Mauritius derived the remaining renewable electricity generation from hydro, wind, landfill gas and solar. The government seeks international competitive bidding for all its power projects and favors joint ventures between the local private sector and international firms.  The Central Electricity Board (CEB), the power utility, plans to increase the grid absorption capacity of intermittent energy from 148 MW to 160 MW by 2018.

The GOM is also undertaking legal and institutional reforms in the energy sector. In 2016 the government created the Mauritius Renewable Energy Agency (MARENA) to oversee the development of renewable energy in Mauritius. In 2017 the GOM established a Utility Regulatory Authority to regulate electricity, water and waste water.  An Energy Efficiency Act provides for product labeling and importation of energy efficient equipment, and the Building Control Act of 2011 aims to improve energy efficiency in building design.

The CEB is the sole agency for transmission, distribution, and sale of electricity in Mauritius. CEB currently produces 40% of the country's total power requirement from four thermal power stations and eight hydroelectric plants; the remaining 60% is purchased from Independent Power Producers, mainly private generators from the sugarcane industry using bagasse and imported coal.

Unit: USD Thousands

2014

2015

2016

2017 (Estimated)

Total Local Production

-

-

-

-

Total Exports

-

-

-

-

Total Imports (Renewable)

5,506

2,260

7,711

9,253

Imports from the US

 

9

-

2,794

3,352

Total Market Size

5,506

2,260

7,711

9,253

Exchange Rates: 1 USD

32.00

35.00

36.00

36.50

(total market size = (total local production + imports) - exports)

Data Sources: i) Statistics Mauritius, ii) Embassy Estimates for 2017

Leading Sub-Sectors

·         Photovoltaic cells and technology

·         Solar energy technology for solar water heaters

·         Waste-to-energy plant for burning solid waste

·         Pumping of cold sea water for air conditioning

·         Wind turbines

·         Liquefied Natural Gas Projects

·         Green building design services and equipment

·         Energy efficiency projects and energy audits

Opportunities

Solar Technology/Waste–to-Energy: Much of Mauritius receives almost year-round, intensive sunlight that makes solar photovoltaic (PV) energy an attractive energy option. To achieve the target of 35% renewable energy by 2025, Mauritius plans on commissioning five solar PV plants of 15MW each.  In 2015 and 2016, CEB issued tenders for a total of 62 MW to be commissioned in 2018-2019.  A U.S. firm won three contracts for a total of 13MW, of which two solar farms of 2 MW each have been completed.  The government’s FY 2017-18 proposed budget has earmarked close to USD 20 million for a Solar Home Project, which includes the installation of 10,000 roof-top solar panels over the next five years.

Mauritius produces about 500,000 tons of solid waste per year and its only landfill site is close to saturation. Accordingly, in 2016 CEB issued a Request for Proposals for a 24 MW of waste-to-energy project.

Wind and Wave Energy: The CEB has signed two Energy Supply and Purchase Agreements with two foreign firms for wind farm projects. The first project for 9MW was completed in 2016 by French company Quadran in joint venture with a local partner. The second project of 29MW, involving Indian firm Suzlon in joint venture with a local partner, has not yet started.  Preliminary research carried out by the Mauritius Research Council (MRC) shows potential for the development of offshore wind farms, as well as wave energy, in the waters of Mauritius and Rodrigues. In November 2015, Australian company Carnegie Wave Energy Ltd. signed a Collaboration Agreement with MRC to explore opportunities for commercial wave energy plants and experiments are ongoing.  In October 2016, the Embassy in collaboration with MRC organized a workshop on Offshore Wind Energy with an expert from U.S. company General Electric.  In early 2017 MRC issued an Expression of Interest for consultants with experience in the development of offshore wind farms and has, to date, garnered 40 interested bidders.

Energy Efficiency/Green Building: As part of a general move away from fossil fuel-generated energy, opportunities exist for energy efficiency, audit, management, and advisory projects targeting large energy consumers. The Building Control Act 2011 provides opportunities for consultancy services in designing “green” buildings and supplying related equipment and materials. Energy efficiency is now one of the main criteria in the design of public buildings and in rental of private buildings.

Deep Ocean Water Application (DOWA) Project: The Board of Investment is actively promoting Deep Ocean Water Application (DOWA) projects, often known in the U.S. as “O-tech” or Sea Water Air Conditioning (SWAC).  Local company Sotravic, through its subsidiary Urban Cooling Ltd, is developing a project to pump cold sea water from a deep ocean current into downtown Port Louis for air conditioning.  Sotravic retained U.S. company Makai Ocean Engineering to carry out the feasibility study and the conceptual design of the project. In October 2016, Sotravic conducted offshore marine surveys that will enable the company to proceed with the design and construction.  In addition to air conditioning, Sotravic is considering the next phase of the project, which will involve using the cold ocean water for bottling, aquaculture, seaweed cultivation, pharmaceutical and cosmetic products.

Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG):  In January 2017, the Ministry of Energy issued an international call for proposals for consultancy services for a feasibility study for liquefied natural gas.  The GOM believes that natural gas would provide backup capacity for renewable energy, is less polluting than coal, diesel and heavy fuel oil, and also help with future peak load needs.  The feasibility study will evaluate the technical and economic feasibility, as well as the best financial model for implementing the project.  It will also assess environmental and social impacts.  Bids were still being evaluated at the time of writing.

Partnering with Mauritian Firms in Africa: Several Mauritian firms are currently involved in or investigating renewable energy projects, particularly hydropower and PV solar farms, in Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi, Madagascar, and Ghana.  U.S firms could partner with Mauritian companies to implement energy projects on mainland Africa with the support of Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), Ex-Im Bank, and the U.S. Trade and Development Agency.

Web Resources

Ministry of Energy & Public Utilities

Central Electricity Board

Energy Efficiency Management Office

Board of Investment

U.S. Commercial service, Johannesburg, South Africa

 

Prepared by our U.S. Embassies abroad. With its network of 108 offices across the United States and in more than 75 countries, the U.S. Commercial Service of the U.S. Department of Commerce utilizes its global presence and international marketing expertise to help U.S. companies sell their products and services worldwide. Locate the U.S. Commercial Service trade specialist in the U.S. nearest you by visiting http://export.gov/usoffices.



Mauritius Energy Trade Development and Promotion