African bank funds grid to link Nile Lakes projects

The African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved a loan and grant totaling US$163 million to five East Africa countries for the Interconnection of Electric Grids of Nile Equatorial Lakes Countries.

"The project consists in the construction and upgrading of 769 kilometers of 220-kV and 110-kV power lines and 17 transformer stations to interconnect the electric grids of ... Burundi, Kenya, Uganda, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Rwanda," the bank said, adding about 135 million people will benefit from the project.

A 2007 strategic assessment of the Nile Equatorial Lakes Region recommended the immediate development of six hydroelectric projects totaling 825 MW and completion of studies for construction or rehabilitation of another six projects totaling up to 397 MW. (HNN 4/23/07)

The total US$238 million interconnection project is to cover an area of 286,350 square kilometers of the Nile Equatorial Lakes Basin. It is to be implemented in 48 months beginning in 2009.

AfDB said the project seeks to improve the living conditions of the people in the region as well as the quality of the socioeconomic development environment in the region.

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