CONAKRY Guinea will buy emergency electricity from British power provider Aggreko (AGGK.L) in a bid to stem rolling power cuts that have led to street protests, the West African nation's electricity firm said.
The six-month deal for 50 megawatts of power, ahead of parliamentary elections due on September 24, will cost Guinea $10 million and buy the government time to fix other thermal and hydro power stations, said Nava Toure, managing director of state power firm EDG.
"Given the unresolved technical problems we have, the only viable solution at the moment is to hire additional capacity," Toure told Reuters in an interview late on Tuesday.
Aggreko provides power in other countries in the region, including Senegal, Niger, Cameroon and Ivory Coast, from mobile generators.
Rolling power cuts have led to street protests, adding to simmering tensions over a long-delayed parliamentary vote that is meant to complete Guinea's return to civilian rule.
Guinea's Tombo 3 thermal power plant has broken down while water levels at the Garafiri and Samou hydro-electric dams are not high enough to maintain power supply, Toure said.
(The story has been refiled to correct the name of power plant to Tombo 3 from Tombo 33 in the last paragraph.)
(Reporting by Saliou Samb; Writing by David Lewis; Editing by Louise Ireland, Daniel Flynn and David Holmes)