AfDB Funds $530 Mn Transmission Line in Angola to Boost Renewable Distribution

AfDB to finance transmission line that will connect the north and south grids in Angola and allow for the distribution of clean energy

The African Development Bank (AfDB) has committed USD 530 million to finance the construction of a 343 km, 400 kV central-south transmission line that will connect the north and south transmission grids in Angola and allow for the distribution of clean energy between the two regions.

The north of Angola has a surplus of more than 1,000 MW of mostly renewable power, whereas the south relies on expensive diesel generators, supported by government subsidies. 

The transmission capacity will increase by 2,250 MW and eliminate the need for polluting, diesel-powered generators in southern provinces. The project, once operational in 2023, will avert the consumption of 46.8 billion litres of diesel per year in the south, cutting 80 Megatonnes of CO2 emissions. The government of Angola will save more than $130 million per year in diesel subsidies.

The finance package, approved in December 2019 by the Board of Directors of the African Development Bank, consists of USD 480 million in financing from the Bank, along with $50 million from Africa Growing Together Fund, a USD 2 billion facility sponsored by the People’s Bank of China and administered by the African Development Bank.

The funding covers the first phase of the Energy Sector Efficiency and Expansion Program (ESEEP) in Angola, which will assist the government to connect the country’s transmission grids and tackle limited operational capacity within the Angolan power distribution utility ENDE. Around 80% of residential customers in Angola are not metered, resulting in financial losses and reliance on government subsidies. As part of the ESEEP, 860,000 pre-paid meters will be installed and 400,000 new customers will be connected to the grid and effectively metered.

At the regional level, the ESEEP will be the first step to enabling a connection to the Southern Africa Power Pool (SAPP). The new transmission line will become the backbone for the distribution of power to the southern provinces of Angola and Namibia and will enable further power trading between countries in the region.

The funding follows two other recent Bank contributions to Angola’s energy sector strategy. In 2015, the Bank approved a USD 1 billion power sector reform loan for Angola, which resulted in the creation of an independent regulator and the unbundling of the sector into generation, transmission and distribution companies. The program encourages ownership of the reforms by the Government, and enhanced donor coordination, through project implementation and procurement support for the power utilities, provided in cooperation with Power Africa/USAID.

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Ayush Verma

Ayush Verma

Ayush is a staff writer at saurenergy.com and writes on renewable energy with a special focus on solar and wind. Prior to this, as an engineering graduate trying to find his niche in the energy journalism segment, he worked as a correspondent for iamrenew.com.

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