The European Union (EU) and French Development Agency signed a $51 million deal with Burkina Faso last Tuesday to support the construction of power transmission lines from Nigeria to Burkina Faso.
The Dorsale Nord project features 880km of high-voltage transmission lines from Birnin Kebi in Nigeria to Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso. The transmission lines pass through Niamey in Niger and include an interconnection with Benin’s grid (Malanville).
Nigeria will supply power production excess, which allows deficit countries to import electricity at a lower cost. The project is part of the West Africa Power Pool regional power project, which aims to create a regional electricity market.
Dorsale Nord will allow Burkina Faso to import 150 megawatts of power to be added to local production, which is estimated to be 50 percent cheaper than the current production cost. It also includes a modernization of transmission infrastructures around the capital Ouagadougou and electrification of 150 villages around the city.
The total cost of the project is approximately $678 million, of which 41 percent – around $298 million – is provided by Burkina Faso. The funding plan brings together the World Bank ($173 million), the African Development Bank ($67 million), Agence Française de Développement ($34 million), EU ($17 million) and the Burkina Faso State via a World Bank loan ($3,62 million). Dorsale Nord is said to be the largest energy project in the country in the next five years.
The project is part of Burkina Faso’s National Economic and Social Development Plan, launched in 2016. The plan aims to diversify the country’s energy mix by increasing power imports and promoting the use of renewable energy in the country.