WASHINGTON, May 17, 2011 - The Board of Executive Directors of the World Bank approved on Tuesday a US$2.2 million grant to support the water and energy sectors in Guinea-Bissau. This additional grant will complement the Emergency Electricity and Water Rehabilitation Project grant of US$12.7 million approved in July 2010, and will enable the purchase of a five megawatt (MW) thermal power generator.
“This additional financing is important because it will enable the city of Bissau to double electricity supply from the public utility company, Water and Electricity of Guinea Bissau, thus improving the reliability of clean water supply and the business climate”, said Moez Cherif, Senior Energy Economist and World Bank Task Team Leader of the project.
Guinea-Bissau is facing structural deficit in electricity generation and distribution. It is currently generating about 4 MW of power on a regular basis, while the unrestricted demand for power in Bissau has been estimated at about 30 MW.
“The Emergency Electricity and Water Rehabilitation project is only the first step toward larger investments and reforms of the electricity and water sectors. Other donors are also contributing to this effort”, Moez Cherif added.
Because of the failure of public electricity supply, there is an estimated 20 MW of private capacity installed by large consumers such as embassies, international organizations, hotels and other institutions, and around 1,000 small generators used in the residential sector. “This is costly to the fragile economy of Guinea-Bissau in terms of competitiveness and has a negative environmental impact as small diesel generators are more costly and less energy efficient than larger utility-run plants”, said Cherif.