AfDB Invests Over USD 1 Billion in African Energy Projects

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Investing in Energy Infrastructure to Accelerate Africa’s Development

Tunis, 21 December 2010 – In line with its strategy to boost energy infrastructure to accelerate Africa’s development, the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group approved over USD 1 billion in energy projects across the continent during the last few weeks of 2010.

The projects are located in Egypt, the DRC, Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania.

Egypt received the largest amount with a USD 550-million loan to finance the Suez steam-cycle thermal power plant project in the country. The purpose of the project is to increase the generation capacity with a view to enhancing socio-economic development. It involves the construction of a 650-megawatt (MW) steam cycle power plant at a site in the vicinity of Suez city, approximately 150 km east of Cairo. Power will be evacuated from the plant through a 220-kV network by rehabilitating the existing double circuit over-head transmission line and implementing two additional underground cables. The power generated will be used for industrial and commercial activities countrywide thus contributing to job creation, higher productivity, better electricity connection rates and improved living conditions. Other direct project beneficiaries include people living around the project site who will benefit from employment during project implementation and operation. This project was approved by the AfDB Board on 15 December 2010.

The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is benefitting from grants amounting to USD 106.6 million to finance the country’s rural and peri-urabn electrification projects. The commitments comprise a UA 9.69- million grant, equivalent to USD 14.8 million, and a UA 60 million (equivalent to USD 91.8 million) Fragile States Facility. The project involves rehabilitation and extension of the electric power distribution system in Kinshasa and selected localities in four provinces. It comprises improvement, rehabilitation and extension of the medium- and low-voltage lines, making connections, installation of public lighting units and promotion of specific commercial operations to increase the number of new subscribers and reach the maximum number of inhabitants, especially the most disadvantaged communities. All the operations will help to increase available energy, improve network operating conditions and enhance the operational performance of sector players. They will also help reduce technical and non-technical losses, in particular through the installation of prepayment meters. The project was approved on 15 December 2010.

For Ethiopia, the Bank approved a UA 93.75-million (USD 143.44 million) loan and a UA 58-million (USD 88.75 million) grant to finance the country’s electricity transmission system improvement project. It consists of the construction, on a turnkey basis, of four 230-kV transmission lines and related substations. The lines and substations to be constructed are as follows:

  • 352 km of 230 kV Koka-Hurso transmission line;
  • 315 km of 230 kV Alaba-Hossana-Wolkite, Gilgel-Gibe I –Jimma-Agaro-Bedele transmission line;
  • 141km of 230 kV Alamata-Muhoni-Mekele line;
  • 140 km of 230 kV Metu - Gambela line; and construction of associated eight new substations, the extension of seven substations, and upgrading four major substations around Addis Ababa and Debre Markos.

This project was approved on 6 December 2010.

Kenya received a loan of UA 46.70 million (equivalent to USD 71.45 million) for a power transmission system improvement project. The project involves constructing 431 kms of 132 kV lines, extending six substation bays and constructing eight new 132/33 kV substations. The project will improve reliable power supply in the western and eastern parts of Kenya with a view to increasing the number of new connections by 200,000 annually and rural electricity penetration from the current 20% to 40% by 2020. The project was approved on 6 December 2010.

For Tanzania, the Bank approved a UA 45.36-million (equivalent to USD 69.4 million) to finance the Iringa-Shinyanga transmission line project. The 400-kV and approximately 670 km line will connect four substations in  Iringa, Dodoma, Singida and Shinyanga towns. The project was approved on 26 October 2010.

* 1 Unit of Account (UA) = USD 1.53 (December 2010)