Tunisia Project Delays Threaten 2019 Capacity Crunch

With peak demand creeping up to installed capacity Tunisia is in a race against time to beef up its powergen fleet. Renewables are core to its plans but are well behind schedule. Even modest delays to two conventional plants slated for June 2019 start-up could leave the country struggling to meet next summer’s demand peak.

Tunisia’s grand plans to develop 1GW-plus of new renewables capacity by 2020 look doomed. The country has failed to bring online a single solar or wind project since it announced its ‘renewables action plan’ in November 2016.

The start-up of a 250MW gas turbine plant at Bouchemma in late-2016 took the country’s installed capacity to 5.31GW, implying a comfortable 36% capacity surplus versus that year’s peak demand of 3.40GW. But, with no further start-ups since, this surplus has shrunk dramatically. Demand has risen strongly to hit 4.2GW this summer, an uncomfortably-high 79% of the capacity figure (see chart).

And the situation could well get worse before it gets better given that both of the key capacity additions slated for 2019 are currently targeting June start up. That is to say even a modest delay would see capacity additions miss the country’s peak summer demand. (CONTINUED - 1227 WORDS)

DATA INSIDE THIS ARTICLE

chart Tunisia's Power Capacity Buffer Has Shrunk Dramatically With No Capacity Additions Since 2016. New Plants Should Re-Establish A Healthy Surplus But Delays Cannot Be Ruled Out (Gw)
chart Tunisia End-2018 Installed Power Capacity (Mw)
table TUNISIA PREQUALIFIES 16 CONSORTIA FOR PLANS TO ADD 500MW SOLAR PV CAPACITY…
table ..AND 12 CONSORTIA FOR 300MW OF WIND PROJECTS