A two year contract to run Madagascar’s state-owned power and water distribution network has been won by Germany’s Lahmeyer. Beginning in February, Lahmeyer will manage the network, Jirama (Jiro sy Rano Malagasy), under the Euro 1.8 million euro contract.

Jirama was 32 billion ariary, (euro 13 million) in debt at the end of 2003, according to an audit and Lahmeyer is tasked with turning the company around. Madagascar’s water and electricty sector was opened to private investors in 1999 and Lahmeyer is the second German company to get a licence to operate in the public sector since President Marc Ravalomanana came to power in 2003.