African bank funds Benin grid link to region’s hydro

The African Development Bank (AfDB) signed a loan agreement June 3 with the government of Benin to finance that country’s segment of a transmission interconnection with neighboring Togo and Ghana.

AfDB is lending 17.39 million units of account (US$28.2 million) under the project, which forms part of the West African Power Pool program. (HNN 2/8/08)

The funding is to help finance construction of a 338-kV transmission line from Sakete in Benin via Togo to the Volta substation near Tema in Ghana. It also includes extension of substations at Sakete and Volta-Tema and construction of a new substation at Mome-Hagou in Togo.

“Interconnections such as the Ghana-Togo-Benin transmission line will allow for the movement of power from countries with the potential to produce cheap hydropower to other countries which currently depend on thermal power stations running on expensive imported petroleum,” AfDB Vice President Mandla Gantsho said.

The total cost of the power line is estimated at 71.34 million units of account (US$115.6 million)

In December 2007, power companies from Benin, Burkina Faso, Niger, Nigeria, and Togo approved a feasibility study of a West Africa interconnection. (HNN 12/13/07) In April that year, AfDB approved US$48.6 million in loans to Ghana and Benin to finance transmission system interconnection among several West African nations. (HNN 4/6/07)

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