14 September 2013, Sweetcrude/African Press Organization, APO, TUNIS, Tunisia — The Comoros Energy Sector Support Project will receive grants totaling US $20.1 million to finance the rebuilding the country’s electricity sector. The financing source is mobilized from the Bank’s resources: (i) US $8.3 million from the African Development Fund (ADF) (http://www.afdb.org), and (ii) US $12.1 million from the Fragile States Facility.
The project approved by the AfDB Executive Directors on September 11, 2013, is to be implemented in the country’s three main islands (Grande Comore, Anjouan and Mohéli). It is part of the Government’s program to improve performance and promote energy sector development.
It will help to address the unreliable power supply sector through improved production capacity, reduced technical and commercial losses and putting emphasis on energy-sector capacity building. The implementation of this project in 38 months is also a major step towards providing the Union of the Comoros with the studies required to tap its renewable energy potential, thereby laying the foundation for green growth in a fragile state.
It will rehabilitate production facilities in the three islands, help improve financial governance through capacity building in the electricity sub-sector, and support the preparation of quality-at-entry of future renewable energy project by conducting appropriate studies.
The components of the project are mainly: (i) support for rehabilitation and technical implementation; (ii) energy mix; (iii) energy efficiency; and (iv) capacity building.
The project is in line with the priorities defined by the National Growth and Poverty Reduction Strategy (GPRS 2009-2014), which makes the promotion of macroeconomic stability and governance two of its four areas of focus. It is also consistent with the priorities set out in the National Social Development Initiative (INDS, 2011-2015) as it seeks to promote growth, competitiveness and employment by targeting the energy and infrastructure sectors, and to strengthen the private sector by improving electricity production.
This project will also complement the strategy of the Vice-Presidency of the Union of the Comoros in charge of Energy, which has defined strategies for implementing the development policy for the electricity and petroleum products sector aimed particularly at increasing the electrification rate and achieving a 40% reduction in the cost of electricity production by 2015 from the 2012 level.
For its part, the Country Strategy Paper (CSP) for 2011-2015 places the Bank Group’s assistance to the Comoros uniquely on a single pillar centred on energy sector development and economic support diversification. The CSP also includes strengthening the renewable energy sector, which it deems necessary for improving the competitiveness of the Comoros. Increased exploitation of the renewable energy potential as part of a sustainable energy policy is identified in the CSP as a leverage that could help promote economic development by reducing the production cost and price of electricity.
On the whole, the project will enable the Bank to support the efforts of the Comorian Government to restructure the energy sector, particularly with regard to electricity access, with a view to improving living and working conditions for the population, enterprises and businesses in the project impact area< The project is co-financed by the World Bank to the tune of US $5 million.