Angola aims for 60% electrification by 2025

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The Angolan government has partnered with Power Africa, a U.S. Government-led partnership coordinated by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and The African Development Bank (AfDB) to start a major transmission project, which aims to connect the central and southern power grids of Angola. The Energy Sector Efficiency and Expansion Program (ESEEP) will create an interconnected national grid supplying north, central and south Angola to create a 60% electricity access rate by 2025. Power Africa will also be assisting the AfDB in connecting pre-paid meters. In December 2019, the government was granted a $500 million loan package from the AfDB to finance the program. The beneficiaries of the project include households, industries, businesses and small to medium sized enterprises in Angola, with the aim of increasing access to cheaper, more reliable and sustainable electricity.

ESEEP aims to strengthen Angola’s power transmission and distribution system. The program is structured around the construction of a 343-km, 400kV Central-South transmission line; revenue improvement through installation of prepaid meters; and program management for project design and implementation. The program has four components, including the Transmission Network Expansion, the Revenue Improvement Program, Program Management and the Resettlement Action Plan implementation.

During a webinar hosted by Africa Oil & Power and the African Energy Chamber on June 25, Paul Ghiotto, Deputy Political-Economic Chief and Energy Officer of the U.S. Embassy in Luanda, Angola, spoke about the company’s involvement in the project.

“We are partnering with the AfDB and we are providing support for the AfDB and their more than $500 million loan package,” said Ghiotto. “In addition, Power Africa is providing technical support for Rede Nacionale de Transporte de Electricidade (RNT), the national transmission company; Empresa Nacional de Distribuição de Electricidade (ENDE), the national distribution company; the Regulatory Institute for Electricity and Water Services (IRSEA); and the regulatory agency in partnership with the AfDB and the Angolan government.”

RNT will complete the Transmission Network Expansion. This consists of the construction of a 343km long 400kV transmission line, construction of 400kV Substation, construction of line-bay at Huambo substation and the installation of a Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system. ENDE will complete the Revenue Improvement Program. This consists of the installation of 860,000 pre-paid meters and the normalization of existing services to customers, the installation of 400,000 new customers with pre-paid meters and the provision of a GIS customer data base system.

“This major transmission project, which will reduce dependence on fossil fuels, lower the costs of electricity generation and improve the reliability of national power systems, has shown to be a large investment opportunity for private investors,” said Frederico Martins Correia, Energy, Resources & Industrials Partner of Deloitte. Correia also said that joining this project and investing in the major transmission project is low-risk because of the procured funding, donors that are already in place and that the budget will be managed by AfDB.

Ghiotto further expanded on the opportunities for investment in the project by the private sector, including a recent tender launched for the first step of the Transmission Network Expansion component of the project.

There is a tender available for the resettlement plan for the creation of the transmission line and tender bidding documents have been available since March 2020. The U.S. Embassy, together with the private sector, USAID and the foreign commercial service have teamed up to get the tender opportunities out to the market. More tenders will be launched throughout the course of the project, which is projected to last 4-5 years.

“The private sector will interact with some of the tenders that are forthcoming,” Ghiotto said. “I see a real opportunity for companies to come into Angola and compete for those tenders over the next several years.”