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At the edge of technology

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Bridging our past, present, and future

December 13, 2017
2050 View article

Harnessing the sun in Mauritania

For the last 50 years, Mauritania, which is largely dependent on fossil fuels and has a low access rate to its power grid, has transitioned into a developing country. This change has affected energy consumption, making it important to diversify the country’s energy mix to sustain future growth and provide increased energy access.

As part of its commitment to support renewable energy adoption in developing countries, Masdar inaugurated the Sheikh Zayed Solar Power Plant in Mauritania’s capital, Nouakchott, in 2013. The solar plant is the first utility-scale installation in the country and one of the largest solar power installations in Africa.

“Energy access is a pathway to economic and social opportunity,” said Mauritania President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz. “Electrification, through sustainable energy sources, is critical to ensuring our people have access to basic services and is a step toward improving our infrastructure and long-term economic development.”

Today, the solar plant produces more than 25,000 megawatt-hours of clean electricity, delivering it to more than 10,000 homes throughout Nouakchott. It displaces nearly 21,000 tons of carbon dioxide annually and accounts for 10 percent of Mauritania’s grid capacity.

While energy access remains a concern in Mauritania, the country is better positioned today to harness its renewable sources to fuel economic growth and prosperity.


Employee and community safety

Employee and community safety

GAC has an overriding commitment to health and safety, with the aim of causing ‘Zero Harm’ to people, the communities in which it operates and the environment.

GAC has an overriding commitment to health and safety, with the aim of causing ‘Zero Harm’ to people, the communities in which it operates and the environment

In November 2015, GAC achieved the significant milestone of 3.4 million man-hours without a Lost Time Injury (LTI) under EGA, a major achievement in the field of construction, mining and infrastructure projects. 

The company’s health and safety approach focus on identifying and controlling hazards, reducing exposure to risks, and supporting the general health and wellbeing of all teams and contractors.

Building a community

Building a community

Discover how GAC has invested to provide a better quality of educational, civil and health services for local communities in Guinea.   

In 2015, GAC invested around US$ 800,000 in the development of a number of sustainability projects in local communities including three school construction projects:

  • A new school with six classrooms in Silidara where 240 students can follow the primary curriculum
  • A 24 classroom, elementary school reconstruction in Sangaredi that can accommodate up to 1,200 students
  • The renovation of a college in Sangaredi where a further 2,000 students can be enrolled


GAC’s program also included the refurbishment and extension of a fully equipped health center on the GAC concession in Sangaredi to replace the older public structure that has been built in the 1960s.

Additional support for the community has included the refurbishment of a community center and the Boké hospital water supply, the installation of six solar public lighting poles and the drilling of 23 community wells in the Boké prefecture.

Mamady Youla, Corporate Affairs General Manager at GAC, said, “From the outset, GAC has made considerable and varied social and economic investments for the local communities in Boké. We are fully committed to ensuring the success and positive development of the broader society in which we operate. 

In our social interventions, we engage with a variety of stakeholders and associate the direct beneficiaries in the planning and evaluation process to ensure they take full ownership of their projects.”

GAC has also been working to develop the capabilities of the local population, graduating 94 young people from a six-month training program in vocational activities and establishing 40 Adult Literacy Centers which have seen 1,600 participants from 175 villages and hamlets.

A bridge to new beginnings

A bridge to new beginnings

As part of its commitment to supporting its surrounding communities Guinea Alumina Corporation (GAC) has brought the world a little closer for the villagers in a small West African community. 

In the past, villagers of the Sangaredi a small sub-prefecture in western Guinea had to walk 15 kilometers to a shallow crossing point on the Thiankoun Thioli River to participate in Friday prayers. 

Now, thanks to a new bridge that was built by GAC and officially handed over to the local community in July 2015 their journey to the mosque can be measured in minutes rather than hours.

Resident Amadou Bah expressed the appreciation of the Sangredi villagers for the successful project, pointing out the new opportunities the bridge has given them. “GAC’s gesture has changed our lives for the better as well as those of our children and grandchildren. The only thing we can say is ‘thank you,'” he said.

The Governor’s representative said GAC’s gesture had touched both the communities of Sangaredi and the Guinean authorities and was an example to other mining companies in the country. “You have demonstrated that you are a citizen company,” he said.

GAC CEO William Morrell said the company is committed to maintaining a relationship with local communities that is based on mutual respect and undertakes to develop the skills of residents to work on GAC’s mega-projects.

Successful businesses are ethically minded and value the importance of maintaining a healthy relationship with the local communities that are based on mutual trust and respect.

Clean energy for the Seychelles

Clean energy for the Seychelles

How a small island nation is working with Masdar to reduce its carbon footprint, diversify its energy portfolio and promote renewable energy leadership.

Energy is one of the foundations of a modern society Yet, more than 1 billion people worldwide have no access to electricity. 

Three years ago the Seychelles was a small, remote island that was heavily dependent on importing fossil fuels. That was before Masdar, Mubadala’s renewable energy company, provided the technologies to help diversify the island nation’s energy mix.

Today, the Seychelles has five wind turbines that produce nearly seven gigawatt-hours of clean energy annually, displace about 10,000 tons of carbon dioxide each year and power more than 2,100 homes. 



“The Port Victoria Wind Farm is helping the Seychelles take the initial steps toward attaining comprehensive diversification of our energy portfolio,” says Phillippe Morin, CEO of Public Utilities Corporation, which has been involved with the project since its inception. “Diversification is paramount to improving the security of energy supplies, stabilizing energy costs and creating jobs.”

Since coming online, the wind farm has provided more affordable electricity to utility customers who, as a result, have seen a reduction in their monthly statements. Morin adds, “The skeptics are now convinced that renewable energy technologies can work in the Seychelles and can contribute to the country’s economic growth.”

The Port Victoria initiative is symbolic of the Seychelles’ commitment to reducing its carbon footprint through cleaner energy sources, and the first of many renewable energy projects it will work on with Masdar to produce 15 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2030.