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Signing of Grant Agreement For The Energy Access Project

Signing of Grant Agreement For The Energy Access Project

Electricity access and consumption in Sierra Leone are among the lowest in Africa. As a driver of economic growth, improving access to electricity is prominent in Sierra Leone’s Poverty Reduction Strategy. Sierra Leone’s limited and aging power infrastructure base in generation, transmission and distribution, is a major constraint to expand electricity access in the country, which remains below 10 percent. Sparse coverage and unreliable service particularly exacerbates poverty conditions. Public electricity services are limited to selected areas. To ameliorate these problems, the World Bank approved the Energy Access Project on January 31, 2013. Today,  June 20, 2013 the Government of Sierra Leone through the Ministry of Finance and the World Bank have signed a Grant Agreement of USD 16 million under the recipient-executed component of the Sierra Leone Infrastructure Development funded by the British Department For International Development (DFID)

Overcoming the monumental challenges of improving access and quality of power supply is of critical importance for enhancing economic transformation in Sierra Leone”, Said Francis Ato-Brown, World Bank Country Manager. “This USD 16 million project aims at (i) reducing losses in electricity supply in Freetown Capital Western Area by investments in the rehabilitation of critical components of NPA’s network, which is the most urgent step to enable expanded and more reliable electricity supply; (ii) improving the commercial performance of the National Power Authority through the supply and installation of a Business Information System and metering equipment at NPA, which will help raise collection rates and overall commercial performance of the utility; and (iii) the project will contribute to improving access to electricity in rural areas through a pilot program for installing PV systems in schools and hospitals in one village in each of the 14 administrative districts in the country”

The Energy Access project is consistent with and provides the complementary strategic capacity building and investment resources that will help put Sierra Leone’s power sector on a more sustainable footing. It is complementary to the recently approved Sierra Leone Infrastructure Development Fund (SLIDF), not only because of its targeted investments in both primary and secondary networks and protection systems, but also because of the emphasis on upgrading NPA’s managerial and implementation capacities.

 “We are delighted that the World Bank has continued to broaden and deepen its role in the development of our country and today’s signing agreement is turning point in the energy sector as we prepare to launch the agenda for prosperity”, said Dr. Kaifela Marrah, Minister of Finance and Economic Development

The fund is allocated to the three components as follows:

Component

Amount (USD)

Rehabilitation of Primary Distribution Network, Loss Reduction and Improvement of NPA s Operational and Commercial Performance

13,310,000.00

Rural Electrification

1,460,000.00

Project Implementation Management

1,220,000.00

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