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World Bank to finance Ethiopia Sudan electricity connection

Dec 20 , 2007 - Tesfa-alem Tekle - Sudan Tribune

The World Bank has agreed to loan 41-million dollar to Ethiopia to finance electricity connection between neighbouring Ethiopia and Sudan, a statement said yesterday.

The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors on Friday approved an International Development Association (IDA) credit of US$41.05 million to the Government of Ethiopia to help the country finance its portion of a new transmission line connecting Ethiopia’s to Sudan’s power grids.

The Ethiopia-Sudan Interconnector will allow power trading between the two countries, where just 6 and 22 percent of the respective populations have access to electricity, thereby promoting Ethiopia’s power export revenue generation capacity.

The transmission line will run between the Ethiopian towns of Bahir-Dar and Metema and up to the border with Sudan to connect the countries’ grids, said the Word Bank

The project will also enable Sudan to replace domestic thermal generation with surplus hydropower from Ethiopia, reducing Sudan’s greenhouse gas emissions. This will enable the two countries to better integrate their reserve capacity, thus improving reliability on the interconnected system, and ultimately providing savings on capital and operating costs.

By building transmission lines, the project will improve the reliability and security of supply in Ethiopia and Sudan. This increased access to electricity is part of both countries’ poverty reduction strategies and will realize benefits such as lighting of schools and homes, improved access to social services, and greater opportunities for business development.

“This project is the first power connection within the framework of the Nile Basin Initiative and is an important step in contributing to cross-border trade and regional interconnection as part of a growing power trade agenda in the region,” said Philippe Benoit, World Bank Task Team Leader for the Project.

The Nile Basin Initiative (NBI), a partnership of the riparian states of the Nile, is providing a framework for promoting cross-border investments that are designed to generate benefits both at the country and regional levels.

“The Ethiopia-Sudan Transmission Interconnection Project is one of the first tangible investments from the NBI, and is an important step in converting the collaborative intentions of the countries into physical investments and benefits”, said Ashok Subramanian, Manager Africa Water Resources Group.

The project represents an important step in a broader power trade agenda for the region, where interconnections with Djibouti, Kenya, Tanzania, Southern Sudan, Somalia, and Yemen are being planned.

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