This is a best prospect industry sector for this country. Includes a market overview and trade data.
Last Published: 3/15/2019

Overview

The government’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 government has announced plans to increase use of renewable sources of energy for electricity generation from the current 21 percent to 35 percent 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 (89 percent), Mauritius derived the remaining renewable electricity generation from hydro, wind, landfill gas, fuelwood, and solar (11 percent). 

The Central Electricity Board (CEB), which falls under the aegis of the Ministry of Energy and Public Utilities, is the sole agency for transmission, distribution, and sale of electricity in Mauritius.  CEB currently produces 40 percent of the country's total power requirement from four thermal power stations and eight hydroelectric plants.  The remaining 60 percent is purchased from independent power producers, mainly private generators from the sugarcane industry using bagasse and imported coal.

The government seeks international competitive bidding for most of its power projects and favors joint ventures between the local private sector and international firms.  However, in 2017, the CEB Act was amended to allow CEB (Green Energy) Co Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the CEB, to participate in power projects without having recourse to public procurement.  The aim of CEB (Green Energy) Co Ltd is to promote the development of renewable energy, particularly solar energy.
In his June 2018 budget speech, the Prime Minister announced several measures pertaining to the power sector, including the commissioning of six solar farms, a waste-to-energy project that will generate at least 20 MW of electricity, increased battery storage from 4 to 18 MW, a new scheme for small scale distribution generation (SSDG), and the installation of 25,000 smart meters.

The GOM has also been 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.  MARENA is still not fully functional.  In 2017, the GOM established a Utility Regulatory Authority (URA) to regulate electricity, water, and wastewater.  The URA is still in the process of being set up as of July 2018.  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.

Unit: USD Thousands2015201620172018 (Estimated)
Total Local Production----
Total Exports----
Total Imports (Equipment – Renewable Energy)2,2607,7113,9264,319
Imports from the U.S. (Equipment – Renewable Energy)
 
92,794217228
Total Market Size----
Exchange Rates35.0036.0035.3034.45

(total market size = (total local production + imports) - exports)
Data Sources: i) Statistics Mauritius, ii) Embassy Estimates for 2018

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 (LNG) projects
·         Green building design services and equipment
·         Energy efficiency projects and energy audits

Opportunities

Solar Technology: 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 percent renewable energy by 2025, Mauritius plans to commission six more solar farms.  As of July 2018, 30 MW solar farms were operational and a further 80 MW were under construction.  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 Home Solar Project, which includes the installation of 10,000 roof-top solar panels, was inaugurated in May 2018.  A  loan of $10 million from the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development and the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) is being used to implement the Home Solar Project, which will target 2,000 households per year.

Waste–to-Energy: 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 waste-to-energy project.  In his June 2018 budget speech, the Prime Minister announced that a waste-to-energy project that will produce at least 20 MW will be implemented.  At the time of writing, bids for the project had just been closed.

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 9 MW was completed in 2016 by French company Quadran in joint venture with a local partner.  The second project of 29 MW, 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.  In February 2018, Italy signed a memorandum of understanding to provide up to $2.3 million to co-finance activities, including the promotion of tidal energy and the establishment of a pilot tidal energy project.  It also envisages the use of renewable energy to pump water, eestabilisation of the national electricity grid and sustainable waste management under Italy’s Small Island Developing States program.

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:  Deep Ocean Water Application (DOWA) projects are often known in the United States 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.  In April 2018, the Central Electricity Board launched a tender for the design, supply, installation, testing and commissioning of a combined cycle gas turbine (CCGT) power plant.  At the time of writing, bids submitted by nine participants were being evaluated.

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, U.S. Trade and Development Agency and Power Africa.  Launched in 2013, Power Africa is a market-driven, U.S. Government-led public-private partnership to double access to electricity in sub-Saharan Africa.  It offers private sector entities tools and resources to facilitate doing business in Africa’s power sector.  In 2016, the Electrify Africa Act institutionalized Power Africa.  Learn more about the full Power Africa toolbox or other opportunities offered by Power Africa.

Web Resources

Ministry of Energy & Public Utilities – Energy Sector
Statistics Mauritius – Energy and Water
Central Electricity Board
Energy Efficiency Management Office
Economic Development Board - Energy
U.S. Commercial Service, Johannesburg, South Africa
Power Africa

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Mauritius Energy Trade Development and Promotion