WASHINGTON, September 16, 2014—The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors today approved a US$15 million International Development Association (IDA*) credit and a US$45 million International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) loan to the Republic of Congo to help increase access to electricity and improve the efficiency and reliability of the distribution system.
This new financing provides additional funds for new activities to enhance the electricity utility’s managerial, technical and commercial performances that complement the electricity portion of the ongoing Water, Electricity and Urban Development Project (PEEDU). The project will help increase access to basic infrastructure services, safe drinking water and electricity for the urban poor living in Brazzaville and Pointe Noire. Approved by the Board in 2010, the project has strong support from the government and has already benefitted over 260,000 people.
The studies conducted under the first phase of the PEEDU revealed that the power sector was in need of reforms and of essential investments in order to restore the reliability and viability of the sector.
“The electricity demand in these cities is expected to double in the next few years and the major transmission lines essential to supply power is not up to the standard to meet these needs,” said Sylvie Dossou, the World Bank Country Manager for the Republic of Congo. “This project will support investments to retrofit or upgrade the infrastructure to improve operation and management of the power system.”
The additional financing will provide the country’s National Electricity Utility (SNE) with tools to improve the quality of services provided to its customers, and to enhance overall efficiency, transparency and accountability of its performance in all business areas. It will also help improve the performance and the governance of the SNE to implement sound operations and maintenance conditions of the goods, works and services financed under the project.
“Through investments targeted to improve the efficiency of electricity supply, the additional financing will help improve the financial viability of the sector, which in turn will reduce the power sector’s fiscal burden on the economy and create opportunities for social investments,” said Mahine Diop, the World Bank Task Team Leader for the project.