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16.07.2005 Business & Finance

WB approves $350m for West African power pool


Accra, July 16, GNA - The World Bank Board of Executive Directors has approved 350 million dollars adaptable programme lending (APL) facility to support the West Africa Power Pool (WAPP) initiative of the Economic Community West African States (ECOWAS).

According to a statement signed by Mr S.O. Barnor, Acting Chief Director of the Ministry of Energy, said the first constituent lending operation under the WAPP APL facility, approved by the World Bank, would extend an International Development Association (IDA) credit of 40 million dollars equivalent to assist Ghana to develop the first phase of the Coastal Backbone Project of WAPP.

The components of the project include development of the Aboadze-Volta segment of the Coastal Transmission backbone. This involves the supply of conductors and insulators and supply and installation of Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition and communication systems.

Other components are upgrading of the Volta River Authority System Control Centre at Tema, upgrading of the switchyard circuit breakers and relays of the Akosombo Generating Station, engineering services in supporting of the project implementation and technical assistance/consulting services for implementation of an "Operation Mitigation and security Plan" for the Coastal Transmission Backbone. "This approval demonstrates the Bank's commitment to deploy dedicated financing instruments on a flexible, implementation-oriented and results-driven manner when prospective borrowers have satisfied policy triggers."

The policy triggers are that the country must commit itself to the ECOWAS Energy Protocol and when WAPP priority investments are ready it must be ready to receive IDA credit support.

The WAPP aims at integrating the fragmented national power system of West African states so as to provide a more stable, sufficient and efficient electricity provision for the countries.

Alongside the West Africa Gas Pipeline Project, the Coastal Transmission Backbone Project of WAPP programme will help reduce the cost of electricity supply and facilitate unconstrained cross-border electricity exchanges between Nigeria, Benin/Togo, Ghana and cote d'Ivoire until at least 2020.