The African Development Bank has committed US$530 million to finance the construction of a 343-kilometre electricity transmission line in Angola. The financial package, which was initially approved in December 2019 by the AfDB board of directors, consists of US$480 million from the bank and US$50 million from the Africa Growing Together Fund, a US$2 billion fund sponsored by the People’s Bank of China and administered by the AfDB.
The 400-kilovolt Central-South transmission line will connect with the existing transmission lines in the north of Angola. The north of has a surplus of more than 1,000MW of mostly renewable power, whereas the south relies on expensive diesel generators, supported by government subsidies.
Transmission capacity will increase by 2,250MW and eliminate the need for polluting diesel-powered generators in the 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. And the government of Angola will save more than US$130 million per year in diesel subsidies.
The funding covers the first phase of the Energy Sector Efficiency and Expansion Programme (ESEEP) in Angola, which will assist the government in connecting the country’s transmission grids and tackling 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. 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.