European Investment Bank financing rehab of 4-MW Contador hydro project in Sao Tome and Principe

The European Investment Bank is providing US$13 million in concessional financing and the World Bank is contributing a US$16 million grant to support rehabilitation of the 4-MW Contador hydro project.

The project, in the Democratic Republic of Sao Tome and Principe, will be rehabilitated and expanded, along with the respective transmission network and distribution facilities, as a first step toward using more hydroelectric energy and improving the quality of life of about 90,000 beneficiaries, EIB says.

Contador has been operating for about 50 years on the Rio Contador and it is reported that reliable capacity has dropped from 4 MW to less than 2 MW.

The Contador rehab is part of a larger Power Sector Recovery Project officially announced by Americo Ramos, Minister of Finance, Trade and Blue Economy. This recovery project aims to reform the energy sector in the country and includes strengthening the national utility, Empresa de Agua e Electricidade de Sao Tome e Principe (EMAE).

“This occasion marks the partnership of the World Bank and the European Investment Bank with the Government of Sao Tome and Principe to assist in the recovery of the energy sector, to increase the generation of electricity with renewable resources, and to improve the reliability of the electricity supply, with a shared vision of sustainable energy supply for all, respectful of the environment,” Ramos said.

The World Bank is providing support to the government in preparing a least-cost power development plan as a long-term master plan for the Ministry of Infrastructure and Natural Resources, EIB says. This will define a roadmap for investment in additional general capacity to meet the challenges of growing demand.

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