- The Board of Directors of the African Development Fund, the concessional window of the African Development Bank Group, has approved a $302.9 million loan co-financing for a multinational power project that will connect 100,000 households across Mauritania and Mali.
The Mauritania-Mali 225kV Electricity Interconnection and Solar Power Plant Development Project form part of the Desert to Power Initiative. The funds comprise $269.6 million for Mauritania and $33.3 million for Mali. Other partners, including climate funds, will contribute to the project cost, which is estimated at $888 million.
The Mauritania-Mali 225kV electricity interconnection project, combined with the development of solar power plants, represents a strategic investment to support rapid solar energy production and guarantee universal access to electricity in the two Sahel countries.
The project will establish a high-voltage electrical interconnection over 1,373 kilometres, with a 600 megawatt (MW) transfer capacity between the two countries; build a 50 MW solar power plant in Kiffa, Mauritania, linked to the interconnection, and connect 100,000 new households (80,000 in Mauritania and 20,000 in Mali) to the power grid in the areas crossed by the cable. The project will also create opportunities for young people and women to establish agricultural and service businesses.
This project forms part of the regional roadmap approved by the countries that will benefit from the Desert to Power Initiative. It is the first section of the trans-Sahel spine aimed at linking Mauritania to Chad via Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger. The interconnection will enable the development of new renewable power plants, whose production will be more closely integrated into interconnected grids. Commissioning it will facilitate access to a high-quality, low-carbon electricity supply at an affordable price.
Author: Bryan Groenendaal