THE World Bank has approved $250 million to improve the operational performance of the electricity sector utilities and increase electricity access in selected cities of Angola.
The Electricity Sector Improvement and Access Project will finance electrification investments in the provinces of Luanda, Benguela, Huila and Huambo, delivering 196,500 new electricity connections that will benefit close to one million people and 93,857 public lights.
The project will focus on electricity access expansion and improvement of revenue collection, electricity service improvement, capacity improvement of the public electricity producer PRODEL (Empresa Pública de Produção de Electricidade) and strengthening sustainable management of generation plants.
The project also aims to increase the commercial performance of the national electricity distribution company Empresa Nacional de Distribuição de Electricidade (ENDE) as well as provide financing to the national transport network Rede Nacional de Transporte (RNT) for targeted interventions to improve and optimise the dispatch of electricity supply and the overall management of the national transmission network.
Furthermore, the project will also finance immediate measures to raise the operational, commercial and technical capacity of the three national power utilities, leading to significant electricity service improvement.
‘Investment in infrastructure, especially in energy, is key to economic development. Quality access to electricity services will have a spillover effect in many other sectors, including agribusiness, health, education, just to name a few,’ said Jean-Christophe Carret, World Bank country director to Angola.
Angola’s power generation capacity, largely based on hydropower, has developed at a fast pace with the national installed generation capacity quadrupling in just one decade, but transport, distribution and cost recovery remain very challenging.
Less than 40 percent of Angolans have access to electricity, with inadequate electricity services impacting poverty, productivity and regional disparities. Therefore, the project aims to deliver the most critical actions needed to help expand electricity access, improve the operational and commercial performance of utilities, and ultimately boost their creditworthiness.
This, in turn, will contribute to reducing extreme poverty, improving the resilience of communities to impacts arising from COVID-19 and increasing shared prosperity.
The total project cost is $417 million, financed with a $250 million loan from the World Bank and a credit of $167 million from Agence Française de Développement.