A consortium comprising Canadian company Hydro Québec International and the French company ELYO is to take a 34 per cent stake in the Senegal state power company Societe National d’Electricité (SENELEC). The consortium has received official confirmation from the government of Senegal.

Hydro Québec and ELYO – part of Suez Lyonnaise des Eaux – are equal partners in the consortium which paid $66 million for its stake in the utility. The government of Senegal will retain a 41 per cent stake in SENELEC while company employees will be offered a further 10 per cent of the shares.

The labour unions in Senegal opposed private sector involvement in SENELEC. They were held responsible for power shortages during July 1998, and a power sector leader was sentenced to six months jail for creating public disturbances as part of the campaign of opposition.