A $325 million International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) loan was approved by the World Bank Board of Executive Directors to improve reliability and efficiency of Cameroon’s national electricity transmission network.
The project on Electricity Transmission and Reform is the second IBRD program for Cameroon this year since 1992.
The project’s goal is to help support the government’s approach in uplifting the quality of power supply and opening investment of private sectors. According to World Bank, it will also help the newly-established National Electricity Transport Company, SONATREL, for its full operation and increasing activities during the first years of its existence.
The need and demand for electricity is very high since there are only 74% of the population living in localities have direct access to electricity. With reliability and power supply identified as an important hindrance to economic growth , this project will bring about a predictable environment for competitiveness and future growth in Cameroon stated by World Bank Country Director for Cameroon, Elisabeth Huybens.
With the Electricity Transmission and Reform project, the Bank will also help address other sector’s concerns more specifically on electricity access by enabling the transfer of power to reach under-served regions and improve quality of supply in urban areas.
Increased productivity and quality of supply eventually bring about economic growth and benefit the entire country.
Stephan Garnier, Lead Energy Specialist and co-Task Team Leader for the project said that the sustainability of infrastructure investments relies on the timely operationalization of SONATREL and realization of the accompanying reforms. It is therefore critical to continue assisting National Electricity Transport Company in its implementation of the Third-Party model for unbiased access to the transmission network and operations.
The first component of the project is to help SONATREL function efficiently while the second component is to improve the reliability and capacity of Cameroon’s national electricity transmission network through the financing of upgrading and extension of national transmission networks and strengthening the reliability of power supply within the interconnected systems. The third component is to finance analytical work, technical assistance, and capacity building in support to major stakeholders and ensure that SONATREL’s project Implementation Unit (PIU) is provided with needed financial, technical, fiduciary and operational assistance for the implementation of the project.