Electrifying Mali and Burkina Faso’s urban and rural centers
The two countries of Burkina Faso and Mali share a geographical disadvantage in that they are landlocked with a low rate of access to electricity. What they also share is poor networks with neighbouring countries, which makes electricity importation complicated. Consequently, a substantial part of their electricity is produced from diesel engines that run partially off heavy fuel oil. This has harmful effects on the environment and is financially costly. The members of the Sahel Alliance have therefore studied this major challenge: how to increase the coverage of this basic service in a sustainable manner, in view of the lack of local electricity generation, and how to do so without impacting the environment.
Photo credit : Erwan Rogard
THE PROJECT: CONSTRUCTION OF A TRANSMISSION LINE
The answer lies in the electricity interconnection project. This essential building block is based upon the construction of an interconnection that should enable Burkina Faso and Mali to benefit from less expensive and less polluting energy than that is generated locally. In parallel, this project includes a component that is intended to electrify Mali’s centres of high consumption. This globally involves large urban and rural centres, although the exact scope is yet to be determined.
The Ghana-Burkina-Mali interconnection project is at the stage of financing additional pre-implementation studies. The study was initiated following a request from WAPP, given that this project is part of the regional master plan validated by all countries (Electricity Company and Ministries). Technically, it was carried out for a voltage of 225 kV, but the master plan updated in 2018 now recommends that this interconnection be changed to 330 kV or even 400 kV (the study should say so). The Ghana-Burkina Faso-Mali interconnection project is at the level of the studies update. The update of the studies will be financed by the African Development Bank (AfDB), the World Bank and the French Development Agency (AFD).