WORLD BANK, NIGERIA, OTHERS TO RAISE $568M FOR REGIONAL ELECTRICITY PROJECT
The World Bank, the Nigerian government, African Development Bank (AfDB), and the Agence Française de Développement (AFD), have concluded plans to raise about $568 million for the West African Power pool (WAPP) North Core Regional Interconnection Project.
The North Core Project involves the construction of approximately 875 km of 330 kV and 24 km 225 kV transmission lines from Nigeria to Burkina Faso, through Niger and Benin Republic with associated substations.
The project when completed would support the sale of electricity from Nigeria to Togo, Benin Republic, Niger and Burkina Faso.
Nigeria’s Minister of Power, Saleh Mamman, who confirmed this said that completing the West African Power Pool (WAPP) which involves the sub-regional interconnection project, referred to as the 330 kV is a top priority for all stakeholders.
Delivering his welcome address at the opening of the first session of the Joint Ministerial Steering Committee of WAPP, Mamman said the Joint Committee comprises Nigeria, Niger, Benin, Togo, Burkina Faso Regional Electricity Interconnection Project in Abuja.
This large-scale project is financed by the African Development Bank (AfDB), the Agence Française de Développement (AFD), the World Bank (WB) and the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN), which brings the amount to a total of USD 568 million,” adding that upon completion of the project, the operation and maintenance of the entire infrastructure shall be handed over to the utility companies of the participating countries.
He also expressed confidence that, with the commitment and collaborative efforts of WAPP and the development partners, the project will be completed in the 3rd quarter of 2023, and will serve as a sustainable solution and major contributor to the power sector of West Africa.
The minister explained that the project is considered a top priority in the infrastructure programme of WAPP. He further stated that the project is aimed at facilitating efficient energy trade in the sub-region among several other benefits.
“This has already been presented to the ECOWAS Heads of State and Government, and approval was gotten in December 2018. It is also part of the ECOWAS Master Plan for the Development of Regional Generation and Transmission Infrastructure 2019 – 2033,” he said.
According to the minister, the project will also involve the electrification of rural communities located within a 5 km radius on both sides of the line, and the implementation of several environmental and social mitigation measures.
In his address, the Secretary-General of WAPP, Mr Siengui Apollinaire Ki said the project is being implemented according to the new model of an institutional framework for implementation and development by WAPP and the countries concerned.
“It is implemented by a Project Management Unit (PMU) which is also tasked to build the infrastructures for the national electricity companies,” he said.
According to him, despite the laudable progress made so far with the project, many challenges still remain, he further seeks more commitment of WAPP so as to get the project completed within the target time.