Building a network to improve the flow of energy exchange between West African countries
According to World Bank figures, only 19% of Sahelians had access to electricity in 2016. There are several factors behind this poor rate. At this time, the electricity-generation capacity is insufficient to meet needs. This project will enable the Sahel region to benefit from greater integration of the regional energy systems. And going beyond this, access to energy will become easier for all of the countries in the region.
With €480 million in joint funding from the African Development Bank and the World Bank, as well as the European Union and France, the “West African Power Pool (WAPP) North Dorsal” project will improve the flow of energy exchange between all the countries in the region. There are two components: firstly, the construction of interconnection lines between Nigeria, Niger, Burkina Faso and Benin; and, in a second phase, technical assistance for the West African Power Pool (WAPP), a system intended to facilitate the integration of the participating countries.
Offering an inexpensive access to electricity
In the short term, this project will enable electricity to be transported inexpensively from Nigeria to Niger, Benin and Burkina Faso. As a positive side effect, this supply will reduce Burkinabe dependency on fossil fuels. In the long term, when other sources of energy production become available, these infrastructures will serve as a base for facilitating exports from Niger. They will also provide the foundations for the development of a local supply in the two countries.
This interconnection takes the form of a backbone that will transit 400 MW until 2020 and then 600 MW between 2025 and 2030. The project also includes a component of rural electrification in the countries concerned, more specifically in Niger and Burkina Faso. In Niger, the plan is to electrify 252 localities, representing 243,000 people; in Burkina Faso, the plan concerns 145 localities and 189,000 people. Finally, the technical assistance, the project’s second component, will reinforce the capacity of the sub-region’s regional and national entities to put into place an appropriate commercial system, which will be based on an adequate supply at competitive rates by balancing each country’s resources and demand optimally.
Photo credit : Erwan Rogard / AFD