AfDB grants additional $3.5m to Central African Republic for electricity interconnection project with DRC
The African Development Bank (AfDB), granted an additional donation of $3.52 million to the Central African Republic to help the country to complete the first phase of an electricity interconnection project with the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
This additional donation will finance, on the one hand, the rehabilitation of the Boali hydroelectric plant, with a capacity of ten megawatts and, on the other hand, the updating of the feasibility study of the electrification project of nine localities. of the country from the Mobayi hydroelectric power station in DRC.
The total cost of these activities is $ 5.97 million and will be financed up to 59.16% by the African Development Fund (ADF-15), the Bank Group's concessional rate lending window. , and 40.84% by the CAR government. This new grant brings the Bank's total contribution to $ 45.73 million. The African Development Fund approved, in September 2012, a grant of $ 42.18 million to the Central African Republic to finance the Boali phase 1 project (interconnection of the CAR and DRC power grids from the hydroelectric system de Boali) at a cost of $ 50.05 million.
In its initial design, the Baoli 1 project focused on the interconnection of the CAR and DRC power grids from the Boali hydroelectric system. This structuring project makes it possible to strengthen the economic cooperation of the border regions of these two countries by increasing the supply of electrical energy and improving the quality of electricity in the CAR and serving the border area of Zongo and Libengue in the DRC. The initial project had the specific objective of rehabilitating and strengthening production units, interconnected transmission and distribution networks, with a view to improving the availability, the rate of access to electrical energy and reducing its very cost. high in CAR and in the project area on the DRC side.
The implementation of the initial project was planned in two phases. Phase 1, in progress, concerns the rehabilitation and strengthening of production units, electricity transmission lines, transformer stations and distribution networks. It mainly concerns the Central African Republic but also covers the localities of Zongo and Libenge in the DRC. The cost of phase 1 has been estimated at $ 50.05 million and its completion expected at the end of 2021. Phase 2 will mainly concern the 110/132 kV electricity transmission line connecting the city of Bangui, the capital of the CAR, to those of Zongo and Libenge in the DRC. All the contracts for the initial project have been awarded.
The reasons for this additional donation are attributable, on the one hand, to the perception of the country risk on the part of the bidders and, on the other hand, to monetary inflation between September 2012 and 2018 (dates of submission of bids) . With a view to awarding contracts, the Central African part had to reduce the scope of the contracts to acceptable proportions, by eliminating certain project activities, including the rehabilitation of the plants at the Boali 2 plant, the development of a control room, the creation of a second 25 megavolt ampere power transformer bay.
The project will improve the security of access to electricity for the populations of the project area characterized by a high exposure to untimely interruptions and power cuts. It will increase the supply of electrical energy, mainly of hydroelectric origin, and increase the availability of the existing production fleet. In the medium term, the implementation of the PET-Mobayi project will give access to modern energy to more than 100,000 inhabitants of the nine localities of the project area, ie more than 14,000 households.