Report: World Bank provides US$13.1 million for Nile Basin hydro

The World Bank-managed Nile Basin Trust Fund has provided US$13.1 million for the Nile Basin Regional Power Trade Project, to construct and interconnect hydroelectric projects in eastern Africa.

Humphrey Ndwiga, power system operations lead specialist for the power trade project, told Kenya’s East African that hydropower development within the framework of the Nile Basin Power Forum will enhance regional cooperation, increase dialogue, and eliminate tension among Nile riparian countries on the use of common trans-boundary resources.

The multi-nation Nile Basin Initiative (NBI) recently invited proposals for trans-boundary development strategies, including energy projects, to benefit multiple nations in the basin. (HNN 4/10/07)

Chairman Hami Semboja of the Nile Basin Regional Power Trade Project told the East African the power trade project’s objective is to coordinate multipurpose integrated hydropower development and water management to improve access to reliable and low-cost electricity in the region. The region’s combined hydropower potential is estimated at 150,000 MW, with less than 5 percent of that developed.

The Nile Equatorial Lakes sub-region completed its power master plan in 2005, with some projects, including the 61.5-MW Rusumo Falls hydro plant and the Kabu multipurpose hydro project already in the implementation stage. (HNN 11/21/06)

Additionally, the 300-MW Tekeze, 435-MW Beles, 420-MW Gilgel Gibe 2, and 1,870-MW Gilgel Gibe 3 hydroelectric projects in Ethiopia (HNN 2/9/07) and the 1,250-MW Merowe project in Sudan are expected to boost the region’s supply and produce power for export to Egypt, Uganda, and Kenya.

Additionally, studies, designs, and, in some cases, tender preparations are under way for transmission interconnection projects among Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania, Zambia, Ethiopia, and Sudan. (HNN 1/29/07)

Officials said the interconnections will facilitate cross-border power trade and, more importantly, spur the development of major hydropower sites within the NBI member states, allowing them to export power to the remainder of Africa.

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