top of page



The project is to design, construct and operate a large scale solar PV plant with 6.8MWp in Santo Antao Island, integrated with a Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) with a capacity of 2MW/11MWh, and also to construct and operate a seawater desalination plant with a production capacity of 3500m3/day, with the objective of providing water to farmers and a hydroponic system, which will include the full lifecycle of the product development through an agro industrial co-operative (centre). Furthermore, the project plan is to include local farmers in an agricultural production process to provide goods to the agro industrial co-operative, where all goods in will be processed and certified to supply hotels, resorts and the national market.


Investment for Santo Antao project: €45m

Goods Production (7000+ Tons/year)

  • Straight cut frozen French Fries

  • Strawberry Jam (country speciality)

  • Cherry tomatoes

  • Lettuce

  • Cabbage Onion

  • Carrot

  • Sweet Potato

  • Pumpkin

  • Papaya

  • Lemon

  • Mango

  • Melon

  • Watermelon

Land available for Santo Antao project

  • 110 hectares for farming

  • 23 hectares for Aquasun Agroindustry

Engenheiro agrônomo com Tablet


The project is to design, construct and operate an hybrid renewable energy generation plant, in Sao Domingos on the island of Santiago, with 13.7MWp Solar PV integrated with a 1.3MW Wind Farm and a Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) with a capacity of 6MW/33MWh, and also to construct and operate a seawater desalination plant with a production capacity of 8,750m3/day, with the objective of providing water to farmers and a hydroponic system which will include the full lifecycle of the product development through an agro industrial co-operative (centre). Furthermore, the project plan is to include local farmers in an agricultural production process, to provide goods to the agro industrial co-operative where all goods in will be processed and certified to supply hotels, resorts and the national market


Investment required for Santiago project: €100m


Agri Goods Production (30,000+Tons/year)


  • Straight cut frozen French Fries

  • Lettuce

  • Cherry Tomatoes

  • Strawberry

  • Potatoes

  • Onion

  • Carrot

  • Papaya

  • Lemon

  • Watermelon

  • Melon


Livestock Goods Production (3000+ Tons/year)


Land available for Santiago project


  • 330 hectares for Agriculture

  • 182 hectares for Aquasun Agroindustry


The Global Infrastructure Basel Foundation (GIB) completed a sustainability and resilience appraisal of Aquasun Cabo Verde proposed at Porto Novo/Sao Domingos, Cape Verde. The appraisal was carried out virtually during the COVID-19 pandemic, based on the 61 environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria of SuRe® - the Standard for Sustainable and Resilient Infrastructure, a leading international voluntary standard.

The appraisal was based on self-declarations by the project and found that 58 of the 61 SuRe® criteria were material to the project, and that 98% of these material criteria would likely be complied with. Additionally, from 15 performance criteria, the project is complying with the majority (12) to a higher than minimum compliance requirement irrespective of their materiality, which is highly commendable.

Based on the current compliance and commitments made by the project team, GIB expects the Aquasun Cabo Verde to achieve the Gold Certification level to the SuRe® Standard, if it is to seek formal certification at a more advanced stage of project development. The Gold certification level of SuRe® is the highest of three possible certification levels (the others being Bronze and Silver) and is only applicable to projects that:

  • Go beyond local Industry Norms

  • Have thoroughly identified and mitigated key Environmental, Social and Governance risks

  • Do not lead to a lock-in to unsustainable development pathways

  • Implement best in class local and international practices

  • Can demonstrate significant contributions to International Sustainability Frameworks such as the Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and others

  • Demonstrate benefits to society

  • Demonstrate significant innovative practices

The project exhibited notable areas of high performance for which it demonstrated a higher than minimum level of compliance in the following criteria:

  • Stakeholder Identification and Engagement Planning (S5.1) by ensuring the involvement of all relevant actors, including the most affected and vulnerable (e.g. farmers, single mother families) on the planning of the project and making provisions for their empowerment.

  • Direct Employment and Training (S5.1) by ensuring that at least 70% of the overall workforce is local, supporting skills and technology know-how transfer & development in the local   community through training opportunities (on new technology, agricultural practices, emergency-response preparedness and gender) wherever needed, with some specifically created for women.

  • Climate Change Mitigation (E1.1) by committing to a net negative carbon footprint for scope 1 and 2 carbon emissions during the operation phase of the project, using measures including generation and sale of renewable energy using wind and solar technology.

  • Responsible Sourcing of Water and Water Efficiency (E3.1 and E3.2): The project enables a greater volume of water to be sourced from a more sustainable source as compared with groundwater in a context suffering increasing saltwater intrusion to freshwater aquifers.


In addition, the project has committed to the highest of three levels of compliance in the following criteria:

  • S4.2 Provision of Basic Infrastructure Services, S4.4 Delivery of Public Health and Safety Benefits, and S5.2 Indirect/Direct Economic Development Enabled by the Project: by contributing to farmers as their contractors.

  • E1.2 Climate Change Adaptation: The project forms an important step towards achieving a more secure water supply for agriculture in the face of current and future climate change.

  • E4.1 Air and Soil Pollution and E4.2 Water Pollution by potentially improving the conditions of the surrounding air and soil (for example, through regenerative agriculture techniques and   avoidance of potentially harmful pesticides), and providing positive impacts on local water resources.

Read the full report here

painéis solares
Fazenda de vegetais hidropônicos


The archipelago of Cape Verde is made up of ten islands and nine islets, and is located between latitudes 14º 28' N and 17º 12' N and longitudes 22º 40' W and 25º 22' W. It is located approximately 450 km from the Senegal coast in West Africa.


The islands are divided into two groups: Windward and Leeward. The Windward group is composed of the islands of Santo Antao, São Vicente, Santa Luzia, São Nicolau, Sal and Boavista; and the Leeward group is composed of the islands Maio, Santiago, Fogo and Brava. The archipelago has a total land surface of 4,033 km2 and an Economic Exclusive Zone (ZEE) that extends for approximately 734,000 km2.


The surface area, geophysical configuration, and geology vary greatly from one island to the next. Cape Verde, due to its geomorphology, has a dense and complex hydrographical network. However, there are no permanent water courses, and temporary water courses run only during the rainy season. These temporary water courses drain quickly towards the main watersheds, where, unless captured by artificial means, continue rapidly to lower areas and to the sea. This applies equally to the flatter islands.

Cape Verde is both a ‘least developed country’ (LDC) and a ‘small island development state’ (SIDS). In 2002, the population of Cape Verde was estimated at approximately 451,000, of whom 52% were women and 48% men. The population was growing at an average 2.4% per year, and the urban population was estimated at 53.7 %.

Over the past 15 years, the Government has implemented a successful development strategy, leading to a sustained economic growth anchored on development of the private sector and the integration of Cape Verde into the world economy. During this period, the tertiary sector has become increasingly important, with strong growth in the tourism, transport, banking and trade sectors. Overall, the quality of life indicators show substantial improvements in almost all areas: housing conditions, access to drinking water and sanitation, use of modern energy in both lighting and cooking, access to health services and education

Source: Ministry of Environment and Agriculture from Cape Verde.


Yet despite these overall socio-economic successes, the production of raw materials and basic foods has witnessed limited progress. Weak performance in crop production has had a severe negative impact on incomes and the poverty risks faced by rural workers. Moreover, relative poverty has increased significantly during the past decade. The poverty profile shows that:


  • Extreme poverty is mostly found in rural areas, although it has also increased in urban areas.

  • Poverty is more likely to occur when the head of the household is a woman.

  • Poverty increases with family size.

  • Education significantly affects poverty.

  • The predominantly agricultural islands of Santo Antao and Fogo have the highest poverty rates.

  • Unemployment affects the poor greater than those with some wealth.

  • Agriculture and fisheries workers are more likely to be amongst the poorest than those in other sectors.

  • The fight against poverty and income inequalities remains one of the greatest challenges for Cape Verde with the focus largely upon the rural population.

Cape Verde’s economy depends on development aid, foreign investment, remittances, and tourism. The economy is service-oriented with commerce, transport, tourism, and public services accounting for about 75% of GDP. Tourism is the mainstay of the economy and depends on conditions in the euro-zone countries. Cape Verde annually runs a high trade deficit financed by foreign aid and remittances from its large pool of emigrants; remittances as a share of GDP are one of the highest in Sub-Saharan Africa.


Although about 60% of the population live in rural areas, the share of food production as a percentage of GDP is low. The island economy suffers from a poor natural resource base, including serious water shortages, exacerbated by cycles of long-term drought, and poor soil for growing food on several of the islands, requiring it to import most of what it consumes. The fishing potential, mostly lobster and tuna, is not fully exploited.


Economic reforms are aimed at developing the private sector and attracting foreign investment to diversify the economy and mitigate high unemployment. Economic growth was an estimated 3.9% in 2018, down marginally from 4.0% in 2017. This performance was supported by strong growth in the electricity and water sectors (22.8%), manufacturing (14.2%), tourism and hotels (14.9%), fisheries (9.4%), retail trade (8.1%), and financial intermediation (8.1%).

bottom of page