Masdar set to launch Seychelles wind farm by end-2011

Masdar, Adu Dhabi’s clean energy firm, is set to inaugurate the first wind farm in the Seychelles by the end of the year, a senior official has said.

According to Dick Patrick Esparon, the Seychelles ambassador, the project in conjunction with the Government of Seychelles is being built near the port of the capital Victoria.

The wind farm aims to generate enough electricity to overcome the power capacity shortfall in the Seychelles, he told the UAE’s news agency WAM.

Under the wind energy deal, an initial target of 18 megawatts of electricity generated from wind power is envisaged, which could initially supply at least 10-15 percent of Mahé Island’s total energy demand, offsetting the need for expensive imports of traditional diesel and heavy fuel oil.

He said the wind farm project was part of a wider cooperation between the UAE capital and the Seychelles.

Esparon said that the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development and Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council were carrying out a strategic project to re-plan Victoria in a bid to solve the problems of traffic, housing, clean water, electricity and public services.

The ambassador said the Abu Dhabi-backed projects would improve the living standards for a population of about 100,000 people and that the Seychelles people would always be grateful to UAE president.

He said that government of Abu Dhabi had set up an "advanced infrastructure" in the Seychelles and contributed to "solving the problems of electricity and desalination of water".

Abu Dhabi has also funded the construction of the Seychelles Coast Guard headquarters, and have supplied five gun boats to strengthen defence against pirates.

The headquarters, which have cost around $15m, will be opened at the end of November, Esparon said.

He added that the opening of the first embassy of Seychelles in Abu Dhabi last month was confirmation that President James Alix and his government are keen to develop relations and cooperation with the UAE.