Major contract, worth 250 million euros, for electricity infrastructures in Congo Brazzaville

11/11/2008 | Release

Major contract, worth 250 million euros, for electricity infrastructures in Congo Brazzaville

Italian oil company ENI recently awarded a contract totalling 250 million euros to a consortium made up of SAIPEM SA, ETDE and AREVA T&D, for construction and rehabilitation of lines and substations in Congo Brazzaville.

The new power line will run 280 km across the country from west to east, connecting the country's two biggest towns, Brazzaville and Pointe-Noire. One of its main functions will be to power the capital Brazzaville, which today depends heavily on Congo Kinshasa, the country the other side of the Congo River. It will also supply electricity to all the villages along the line. At peak periods, there will be over a thousand people working on the project. Handover is scheduled for the end of July 2011. The client is the Italian oil company ENI, operating on its own behalf and that of the Congo Government, in connection with the development of ENI's oil business. The infrastructures will then be managed by the Congo electric utility SNE.

Contract totalling 250 million euros, including 175 million euros for ETDE

ETDE (which accounts for 72% of the consortium), the Bouygues Construction electrical engineering and maintenance subsidiary, will be handling engineering and construction of the lines and substations, plus project logistics and supplies. AREVA T&D (19%) will be taking charge of design, equipment supply and supervision of electromechanical assembly work on the substations. And Saipem SA (lead firm, 9%) will be handling coordination and liaison with the client, ENI Congo. On logistics and supplies in particular, ETDE and Saipem SA will be drawing upon the expertise of their local subsidiaries (Sogeco and Boscongo), which have been in this country for many years. For Patrick Eveillard, head of ETDE's International Operations, Transmission and Distribution Division, "this is a contract of exceptional size, but all the prerequisites for successful fulfilment are met: we'll be working alongside top-class partners, under good conditions of financial and legal security, with an experienced project team". In all, the mammoth operation will involve over 1,160,000 production hours.

280 kilometres of HT power lines

The bulk of the project concerns installation of eight 225 kV HV substations and construction of 280 km of 225 kV power lines, with 410 pylons, 800 km of conductors, 38,000 insulators and 450 km of OPGW cables. Preparatory work has already begun: there'll be 900 km of access tracks built or rehabilitated to ensure good access for transport of workers and equipment.

Alain Richet - ETDE project director: "A complex and exciting project!"

ENI Congo, a giant-sized project?

Yes. And it's a very complex project indeed, especially as regards supplies and logistics. We'll have to set up a great deal of equipment in a very short time, with limited access and communication facilities. That being said, ETDE's subsidiary SOGECO has been working in Congo for eight years, and is thoroughly familiar with local conditions. And our partners AREVA and SAIPEM are highly competent. Because of the magnitude of the task at hand, we'll be providing substantial resources on key functions such as logistics, purchasing, tracking and project management, on top of the technical skills as such.

Your first challenge will doubtless be to set up the project team?

That's right: there'll be over a thousand people working on the project at peak periods, managed by an expatriate team of 40 or 50, who we're recruiting right now. I'd like to form teams with young engineers supervised by older hands with technical experience plus self-reliance. A large-scale international project like this makes a fabulous opportunity for learning and experience-building. It's hugely exciting, and an unforgettable experience.

About ETDE

Bouygues Construction subsidiary ETDE is a turnkey provider and integrator of technical and service solutions for public- and private-sector customers in the energy, industry, service, transport, environment and telecommunications sectors. Company operations cover three clearly structured, customer-oriented business areas: utility networks; electrical, mechanical & HVAC engineering; and facilities management. For French and international customers, ETDE offers comprehensive capabilities that encompass engineering, installation, maintenance and operation. It relies on the expertise, commitment and responsiveness of its 13,000 employees to deliver innovative solutions with high technological added value. With 200 locations across France, and operations in 28 countries worldwide, ETDE expects to post revenues of 1.7 billion euros in 2008.


SAIPEM SA  is the French subsidiary of the Italian group SAIPEM SpA, in which ENI holds a 43% stake The SAIPEM group is a leading provider of engineering, supply, project management and construction services to the gas and oil industries, with unique capabilities in design and fulfilment of large-scale offshore and onshore projects. SAIPEM holds specialist skills in difficult project conditions, involving complications such as deepwater drilling and access to isolated areas. And it holds advanced technological skills in gas utilization and heavy oil exploration.

About AREVA T&D 

With industrial operations in 43 countries and a sales network covering over 100, AREVA offers its clients technological solutions in CO2-free energy production and high-reliability electricity transmission. AREVA is the world number-one in nuclear power, and the only player to cover all industrial operations in this sector. It employs a workforce of 71,000 under a strong continuous improvement process and a sharp focus on sustainable development as a central feature of industrial strategy. AREVA operations address some of the major issues of the 21st century, such as energy access for all, preservation of the planet, and responsibility to future generations. The AREVA Transmission & Distribution Division has worldwide coverage, designing, making and commissioning a full range of equipment and systems across all electricity transmission and distribution stages, from the generator to the consumer.

Press contacts

Mathieu Carré

+33 (0)1 30 60 66 39

Jessica Swiderski

+33 (0)1 30 60 25 37

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