CONAKRY, June 19, 2015—The Government of Guinea is signing a management contract today with the Veolia Africa-Seureca consortium, which combines two experienced utilities management firms, to enhance the management, operation, and commercial viability of the electricity sector.
Funded by the World Bank’s Power Sector Recovery Project, “the management contract is the first step towards improving the technical and commercial performance of the national power utility, Electricité de Guinée (EDG)’’, said senior energy economist Moëz Cherif. “It is part of a multi-donor supported power sector priority investment plan of over $700 million.”
The Guinea Power Sector Recovery Project combines efforts of the World Bank and its affiliate, the International Finance Corporation (IFC). While the World Bank funds the management contract, IFC acted as Transaction Advisor to the Government of Guinea which included advice during the selection process for the private sector operator.
“The management contract will lay a solid foundation for expanding electricity services in Guinea, providing more people and more businesses with more power,” said Ibrahima Sory Soumah, IFC Resident Representative in Guinea. “It will also significantly benefit the almost 227,000 existing EDG customers by providing them with improved and more reliable electricity supply.”
This marks a turning point in the efforts to electrify Guinea, whose energy track record reflects poor performance and an inability to deliver adequate levels of service required to support economic growth and social development. Access to electricity remains at an average low of about 15%.
The management contract coincides with the gradual commissioning, over the next few months, of the Kaléta hydropower plant with an installed capacity of 240 MW. It will also open the door for future increased private sector participation in the energy sector, providing a more attractive investment climate and a more viable national power utility.
As the country continues to battle the Ebola virus, a reliable supply of electricity to power everything from treatment centers to hospitals will also be crucial to saving lives.
This signature also bodes well for Guinea’s economy, which is dominated by the mining sector. Possessing minerals such as iron ore, bauxite, gold, uranium and diamonds, Guinea would greatly benefit from a coordinated approach to power resources development between the national utility and mining companies. Guinea’s hydropower capacity is estimated at more than 6,000 MW.