The World Bank Group has just approved a loan of $385 million for Cameroon and Chad to finance an electricity interconnection project between the two Central African countries. The fund is being disbursed through Group’s subsidiary, International Development Association (IDA).
Afrik21 said the project will enable electricity trade between the two countries, and also serve to increase access to electricity in N’Djamena, the capital of Chad. According to the IDA, energy services in Chad are among the lowest in the world. In its 2018 report, the World Bank states that more than 88% of Chad’s population has no access to electricity.
“Communities face difficulties in operating businesses and generating income, hampering poverty reduction efforts. In addition, unequal access to electricity makes it difficult for both countries to realize the full potential of their human capital, and increases their vulnerability to climate change, natural disasters and pandemics,” says IDA.
The Cameroon-Chad Power Interconnection Project will construct a 225 kV high voltage line between Ngaoundéré, Maroua (Cameroon) and Ndjamena (Chad). A 225 kV high-voltage link will be built to connect Maroua (Cameroon), Bongor, Guelendeng and Ndjamena (Chad). The total length of the high-voltage lines to be built is approximately 1,024 km (786 km in Cameroon and 238 km in Chad).
Medium-voltage high-voltage transformer stations will be built along the corridors. These facilities will enable the establishment of distribution networks for rural electrification. According to the African Development Bank (AfDB), the interconnection of electricity generation and transmission facilities in Cameroon and Chad will lead to significant gains in production costs for the direct benefit of national electricity companies. The project will also, through the electrification of localities bordering the interconnection lines, increase the rate of access to electricity in the two countries.
According to the AfDB, the Cameroon-Chad Power Interconnection Project will benefit local electricity companies. This is the case with the National Electricity Company (SNE) in Chad, the National Electricity Transportation Company (Sonatrel) in Cameroon, the Rural Electrification Agency (AER) in Chad and Eneo in Cameroon. These companies will benefit from the electricity transmission and distribution infrastructure set up under the project.
The total population directly concerned by the project will be about 8.9 million, of which 6.5 million will be in Cameroon and 2.4 million in Chad. Apart from the support of International Development Association (IDA), the project is also financed by the African Development Bank (AfDB). The Pan-African Bank based in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, recently lent €226 million to the State of Cameroon for the implementation of the project.
Chibisi Ohakah, Abuja