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Powerful future ahead for Madagascar

PORT LOUIS, Mauritius. May 24, 2017. Volga-Dnepr Airlines has now completed a series of flights begun in March to deliver power generators from Mauritius to Madagascar for the power plant serving the country's capital Antananarivo.

Turkish forwarder Kupa Proje Tasimacilik Ve Lojistik was responsible for the shipments on behalf of Aksa Energy to boost the capacity of Antananarivo's power plant to 120 MW.

Volga-Dnepr worked with heavylift experts ALE to determine that two generators weighing 57-tonnes each could be carried in a single AN-124-100.

V-D MadagascarAccording to Symbion Power CEO Paul Hinks, Madagascar has over 100 power sites mostly running on diesel or heavy fuel oil but with no national grid - and the country is bigger than France.

"Power for Antananarivo is all diesel and heavy fuel oil at the moment. You can imagine the huge cost. So we are going to build a 116-megawatts power plant at the oilfield and then build a transmission line of approximately 300 kilometers to Antananarivo," he explained. "The oil that we will buy locally is a lot cheaper than the oil that is now being imported. We will provide the power utility JIRAMA with a good tariff, which benefits the country and the people," continued Hinks.

Symbion said it has signed a protocol with Madagascar's government to develop seven power plants over a three-year period. Three of them are biomass and based on new 3,000 acres bamboo farms to supply each powerplant with bamboo pellets. "Each plant will have this large feedstock supply chain that will create jobs for literally thousands of people. It will also produce cheap electricity - and it's renewable. The president of Madagascar and JIRAMA are keen to see job creation, so these small plants will be a great stimulant for the economies of rural areas."

Commenting on the challenge in moving the power generators  to Antananarivo, Vladimir Bykov, head of Volga-Dnepr's Cargo Planning Center said: "In Mauritius, we loaded the generators into the aircraft using an external crane, while in Madagascar the cargo was unloaded directly to trailers to save time and money for the customer. We were able to complete these tasks using loading/unloading technology that was first tested by the airline's specialists for the delivery of oil equipment to Colombia in 1996."

Hinks added he was very optimistic about the future of the island and its population of 22 million: "I have been all over the country, and it's an amazing place with incredible, unique biodiversity found nowhere else in the world. With the level of political stability that we are seeing now, we will certainly see lots of investment going into Madagascar next year from both the donors and from the private sector."

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