(Ecofin Agency) - Madagascar Oil has announced the first use of the Tsimiroro heavy fuel oil on the Mandroseza power plant, operated by Symbion Power in Antananarivo, on the Indian Ocean Island of Madagascar.
The Tsimiroro fuel oil was successfully used to run one of the Mandroseza power generators and allowed reliable energy production for about 18 hours per day, for 2 days.
According to John P. Claussen, the Chief Executive Officer of Madagascar Oil, the Tsimiroro oil field is an important national resource capable of supporting the country’s rising energy requirements, with related economic benefits to the state and the people.
“Madagascar Oil is pleased to be a continuing partner with the Malagasy state in responsible development of the Tsimiroro Oil Field. Madagascar Oil believes that this milestone will send a positive signal to possible end users and will allow Tsimiroro heavy oil to gain acceptance as a reliable, efficient and competitive product for local and regional power generation,” he said.
Tsimiroro is a large oil field in the onshore Morondava Basin of Madagascar discovered south of the Bemolanga ultra heavy oil field and south of the town of Morafenobe. The oil was found in the Isalo and Amboloando formations.
Madagascar Oil is the licence holder of the field and has described it as being a heavy oil field with a significant volume of as much as 9.3 billion barrels of heavy oil in place.
“We are pleased to report that this weekend we have used domestic fuel from Tsimiroro Oil Field for the first time, with which we successfully produced reliable power for about two days. The cost of our power at Mandroseza is the lowest cost in the country. This is an important milestone for Madagascar, towards future energy self-sufficiency. Symbion is planning new power investments based on this national fuel source,” Zelda Weitz, Chief Operations Officer of Symbion Power said.
The Mandroseza plant which is currently being renovated by the American power investor, resumed operation in early August and is expected reach its full output after the rehabilitation program has been completed at the end of 2016.
Madagascar is an island nation with a population of 23 million and does not have a national electricity grid. As at the end of June this year the International Monetary Fund (IMF) approved a $304.7million-dollar Extended Credit facility for the nation. This is expected to facilitate the coming on of new investments by the International Development Partners including the World Bank and the European Union, especially in the area of infrastructure, Agence Ecofin reports.