Alstom expands its Africa investment plan

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The French engineering conglomerate is part of a consortium that was awarded a 40 million euro contract by Ministry of Power of the Rivers State Government of Nigeria. Alstom will be expected to supply a 160 megawatt GT13E2 gas turbine for the second phase of the Afam power plant.

“We have been active in [Nigeria’s] power sector, one of our main activities for a long period. We have been selling a number of equipment. What is interesting with this project is we see the result of the privatisation policy that the government has established, which needs private investors with ambitious developments for the plans they have bought,” Alstom CEO Patrick Kron told CNBC Africa.

“A big part of what we do is accompanying our customers during the life of the equipment so we see potential in servicing these plans, improving their efficiency and extending their life and increasing the capacity.”

Alstom is a global leader in power generation, power transmission and rail infrastructure. The company is also involved in thermal and renewable energy projects.

Kron added that Alstom should be playing a more active role in Nigeria’s power sector, the country’s gas related projects and the renewable energies sector. The need for electricity is expected to significantly grow in the next few years, providing an opportunity for Alstom to assist in Nigeria’s electricity supply process.

“We know that we have a leading position worldwide in the hydro business, so we definitely want to work on first the service and maintenance of the existing [equipment] fleet and the others. We want to sell more equipment and participate in the development of the electricity needs of the company,” Kron explained.

Alstom has also signed a 5.1 billion dollar contract to provided passenger trains in South Africa. This is the largest contract in the company’s history, amid plans to participate in more metropolitan and mainline transport projects.

“As infrastructure is key in the economic development of the country and its social welfare, as well as environmental protection, I think we can provide solutions which will be at the core of public policies,” said Kron.

“I’m absolutely confident that over the 10 years to come, Africa will be a key player in this world of infrastructure development.”