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USTDA GRANT PROMOTES "SMART GRID" TECHNOLOGY IN MAURITIUS

Charg d'Affaires Virginia Blaser and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Renewable Energy and Public Utilities Dr. Rashid Beebeejaun sign the grant agreement, in  presence of CEB's Chairman Patrick Assirvaden (on the right) and officials of the Embassy and the Ministry.
Charg d'Affaires Virginia Blaser and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Renewable Energy and Public Utilities Dr. Rashid Beebeejaun sign the grant agreement, in presence of CEB's Chairman Patrick Assirvaden (on the right) and officials of the Embassy and the Ministry.

PORT LOUIS, MAURITIUS (May 15, 2009) – A USTDA grant was awarded yesterday to the Central Electricity Board (CEB) in Mauritius to support efforts to improve the efficiency of the country’s power transmission and distribution grid. The grant will support U.S. jobs by assisting the CEB in making the most of their existing resources through the utilization of “smart grid” technologies in which U.S. manufacturers are global leaders.

A signing ceremony to confer the $325,000 grant was held at Sir Harilal Vaghjee Hall, New Government Centre. The Chargé d'Affaires at the U.S. Embassy in Mauritius, Virginia Blaser, and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Renewable Energy and Public Utilities Dr. Rashid Beebeejaun signed the grant agreement on behalf of the U.S. and Mauritian governments, respectively. CEB General Manager Chavansingh Dabeedin witnessed the agreement.

As the Mauritian economy continues its strong growth, spurred on by tourism and a strong financial services sector, its demand for energy continues to grow. With an annual national production capacity of 2.35 billion kilowatt hours (kWh) and annual consumption of 2.07 billion kWh, the Mauritian power grid is currently operating at the edge of its capacity. As a result, the CEB is seeking independent power producers to supplement existing power generation capacity, and is placing a strong emphasis on upgrading their distribution grid and minimizing transmission loss.

To support this effort, the USTDA grant will fund a thorough analysis of the existing transmission system and determine the feasibility of implementing a software monitoring and control system to manage CEB’s electricity transmission infrastructure and transformer network. The proposed system will allow CEB engineers to collect and analyze real-time data on the state of the grid, give them the ability to quickly make adjustments, and identify equipment in need of repair or replacement to maintain optimal efficiency at all times.

The opportunity to conduct the USTDA-funded study for the CEB will be competed on the Federal Business Opportunities (FBO) website. A link to the FBO announcement will be posted to USTDA’s website at www.ustda.gov. Interested U.S. firms should submit proposals according to the instructions in the FBO announcement. The CEB will select the U.S. contractor that will complete the study.

The U.S. Trade and Development Agency advances economic development and U.S. commercial interests in developing and middle-income countries. The agency funds various forms of technical assistance, early investment analysis, training, reverse trade missions and business workshops that support the development of a modern infrastructure and a fair, open trading environment. USTDA's strategic use of foreign assistance funds to support sound investment policy and decision-making in host countries creates an enabling environment for trade, investment and sustainable economic development. In carrying out its mission, USTDA gives emphasis to economic sectors that may benefit from U.S. exports of goods and services.

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