World Bank OKs Funds to Boost Electricity Delivery and Reliability in Senegal

Steven Bobson, Europe & Americas Editor
July 28, 2012 /

The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors has approved the US$85 million aid for the Republic of Senegal and the Senegal National Power Utility (SENELEC) to reduce its technical and commercial losses and to improve the reliability of electricity services.

The financing will be used over a five-year period to upgrade and modernize electricity transmission and distribution components; create more transparency and accountability within the energy sector; develop a medium and long-term strategy for the energy sector; and upgrade SENELEC billing systems to reduce high collection costs and losses related to fraud.

“The development of energy infrastructure is a key component of the World Bank’s strategy to support economic development in Senegal and across the African continent,” said Jamal Saghir, World Bank Director for Sustainable Development, Africa Region. “Senegal is facing an energy crisis and this funding will help the national utility, SENELEC to provide reliable electricity supply for economic growth and improve human well-being.”

The project cost of US$93.5 million will be financed by a US$85 million credit from the International Development Association (IDA), the Bank’s fund for the world’s poorest countries, and US$ 8.5 million from the Government of Senegal.

SENELEC’s commercial performance will be enhanced by installing pre-pay modular meters and electronic Smart Meters that are capable of being read remotely. This equipment meets international standards for reducing fraud. The project includes support for the introduction of energy efficient lamps, and price incentives for consumers to reduce energy consumption.

“The project’s aim is to increase the energy sector’s efficiency and accountability,” said Vera Songwe, World Bank Country Director for Senegal. “The Senegalese people are demanding greater, better and reliable services from their elected leaders and better governance in all productive sectors of the economy; in order to restore growth”

The project is supportive of the government’s new push to improve efficiency of the energy sector and increase energy supply as announced by H.E. Mr. Macky Sall, President of Senegal, after the most recent Ministry Council meeting in Diourbel (APS).

“We look forward to a speedy and effective implementation of the project so that Senegalese people who do not have access to electricity will benefit from the project’s long-term focus on improving access and reliability of power supply,” said Stephan Garnier. World Bank Task Team Leader for the project.

 

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