The Board of Directors of the African Development Fund (ADF) has approved a loan of US$ 22.4 million in favour of Ghana and US$ 26.2 million in favour of Benin to connect the power grids between Ghana-Togo-Benin.
The project seeks to reduce poverty in the ECOWAS region through increased access to modern energy services, according to a statement by the African Development Bank received in Accra yesterday.
The project also aims at increasing transmission capacity between Nigeria, Benin, Togo and Ghana for trading of electricity which will improve reliability of supply, reduce production costs and during drought periods, meet shortfall in output of hydropower stations.
Ghana has a serious shortage of power and supplies from Nigeria through Benin and Togo which was to have brought some relief failed because of technical problems on interconnectivity.
The statement said the project would have the following outputs: 338 km of 330 kV single circuit line from Ghana through Momé Hagou in Togo to Sakete in Benin.
The others are extension of 330 kV substation near Tema, a new 330 kV substation at Momé Hagou and extension of Sakete 330 kV substation.
The statement said ADF had mobilised 45.10 per cent of the total cost, which would finance the cost of the transmission lines in Ghana and Benin, the substation in Benin and project audits in Ghana and Benin.
Studies have shown that a 330 kV transmission line interconnecting the electricity grids of Nigeria, Benin, Togo and Ghana would be technically feasible and would be a step towards the creation of the West African Power Pool, a unified electricity market covering the ECOWAS region.
The African Development Bank Group has been actively participating in the regional integration of the energy sector in ECOWAS member countries through the financing of nine multinational operations.
The operations include the 225 kV Ghana–Côte d'Ivoire Transmission Line project completed in 1983 and the Dispatching Centre project for the control and operation of the transmission system of Togo and Benin completed in 1998.