ECOWAS electricity project to be completed in 2023

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The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has stated that its West African Power Pool (WAPP) project is due to be completed in 2023. The project costs $568 million – with most of the funding coming from the World Bank.
It was initiated in 1999 to generate, transmit and distribute 600 megawatts of electricity (12% of Nigeria’s electricity generation) to 14 of the 15 ECOWAS nations (Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo except for Cape-Verde).

With the framework of interconnecting grids, Cote d’Ivoire – Ghana – Benin/Togo – Nigeria will have the coastal backbone, while Ghana – Burkina Faso – Mali will share the inter-zonal hub, among others.

The infrastructure mainly comprises 875km of 330kV double circuit transmission lines from Birnin Kebbi (Nigeria) to Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso) through Zabori (Niger) and Gorou Banda (Niger) and from Zabori (Niger) to Malanville (Benin).

In addition, the TCN noted that there are the 24km 225kV DC transmission lines in Burkina Faso, while the grid would be looped inside Ouagadougou town.

“Five substations (Zabori and Gorou Banda in Niger, Ouaga East and Ouaga South-East in Burkina Faso, Malanville in Benin) would be executed as part of the project and some additional SCADA and SVC’s.

“In Nigeria, we have 62km transmission line in Niger we have 420km, in Burkina Faso we have 381km and in Benin 12km, totalling 875km of 330kV transmission lines while in Burkina Faso we have 24km of 225kV transmission lines.

“The project also has a rural electrification component to provide electricity to communities along the 330 kV lines, within a radius of 5km, in Burkina Faso and Niger. This will be implemented by their respective utilities, SONABEL and NIGELEC it said.

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It stressed that resettlement action plans had been designed to mitigate specific social impacts in all the participants’ countries, including communities whose lands and livelihood would be affected.

“In the same way, the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) of the project has identified adverse environmental, health and security impacts that are being addressed by specific Environmental and Social Management Plans (ESMP) in each country,” it said.

The organisation noted that procurement had commenced with pre-qualification, adding that the process would be finalised towards the end of this year.

“The works are estimated to last 30 months (2 years and a half) and is therefore expected to be commissioned in the second quarter of 2023.

“The total cost of the project sums up to $567.5 million for the regional part, the Federal Government of Nigeria is contributing 0.9 per cent, Agence Francaise de Developpement (AFD) 6 per cent, African Development Bank 20.5 per cent and the World Bank contributing 72.6 per cent.

“In addition to these, the European Union is funding the Rural Electrification component of the project. Meanwhile, feasibility studies of this project were funded by NEPAD and IPPF,” it added.