from MARIO RAJOMAZANDRY in Antananarivo, Madagascar
ANTANANARIVO – MADAGASCAR is poised to increase power generation and grow its economy thanks to a US$42,9 million loan from the African Development Bank (AfDB).
The funds are to finance the second phase of a major transmission and interconnection project.
The Power Transmission Network Reinforcement and Interconnection Project in Madagascar (PRIRTEM-II) includes the construction of a 135-km, 220 kV interconnection line between the capital Antananarivo and the central industrial city of Antsirabé.
The project will help to feed the power generated by the Sahofika Hydropower Plant into the national grid, supplying some 8 million people with affordable, clean energy.
The financing comprises a loan of $28,6 million from the African Development Fund (ADF), the concessional lending window of the Bank, and a loan of $14,3 million from Pillar 1 of the Transition Support Facility (TSF), the bank’s financing mechanism for fragile and transition countries.
The second phase of the project also includes the electrification of 19 villages in the Soanindrariny, Ambohidranandriana, Ambatomena and
Ambohimiarivo municipal councils of central Madagascar.
Mohamed Cherif, said AfDB country manager, said the project demonstrated the bank’s commitment to increasing access to clean and low-cost energy.
“This, in turn, is expected to lead to the emergence of new economic opportunities, the development of industrialization, increased business competitiveness and job creation,” he said.
Madagascar, the Indian Ocean island, despite having huge renewable energy potential, has an electricity access rate of only 15 percent nationally and 6 percent in rural areas.
The PRIRTEM-II project is aligned with the AfDB’s Country Strategy Paper (CSP) 2017-2021 for Madagascar.
– CAJ News