Energy poverty represents one of the main obstacles to the social and economic development of a Country. Consequently this has increased the awareness of the role played by energy companies to increase access to energy for large segments of the population.
In many Countries where Eni works, access to energy has become a priority in the development promoting strategies also with reference to achieving the Millennium Development Goals promoted by the UN.
In Africa, Eni has a flaring down strategic plan that seeks to address the dual challenge of fighting energy poverty while tackling climate change. Where the associated gas is used to supply the local market and produce electricity, the population gains access to a continuous supply of reliable and safe energy. This, in turn, acts as a catalyst for social and economic development.
Eni has been active in hydrocarbon exploration and production in the Republic of the Congo since 1968. In 2007, Eni signed an agreement with the government to develop two electricity power stations and eliminate gas flaring by 2012.
The agreement envisages the construction in Djeno of the new Centrale Electrique du Congo power station (300 MW, planned for a future output of 450 MW) and the revamping of the existing 50MW Centrale Electrique de Djeno power station.
The agreement also includes the exploitation of gas from the M’Boundi oilfield, which is collected and transported through a 55 km pipeline to Djeno.
The main challenge is to enhance quality and security of provided energy in developing countries and in the meanwhile ensure affordability of distributed electricity. Work with local communities to promote a better and sustainable use of energy is another important challenge.
In three years, Eni has reduced flaring by over 30% (compared to 2007), and is investing in new energy infrastructure to bring this figure up to 80% by 2014. When fully implemented, the program will recover around 5 billion cubic meters of gas per year.
The two new power stations will now provide 60% of the country’s installed capacity and expand access to electricity for approximately 700,000 people.
Average per capita electricity consumption in the area serviced by Eni’s investment rose to 350 KWh in 2009 and 462 KWh in 2010, compared with the national average of just 137 KWh per year.