Development partners have committed to mobilise funding for a $900 million multinational power transmission line between Mauritania and Mali.
The project aims to connect 620,000 people to electricity.
The project constitutes an essential link in the regional electricity distribution system known as the ‘trans-Sahel spine’, which is currently being studied.
It will link Mauritania to Chad, passing through three other landlocked countries; Burkina Faso, Niger and Mali.
The 225 kV line will connect new renewable energy parks to the sub-region’s power grid.
The partners made the commitment at a roundtable in the Mauritanian capital, Nouakchott, on 17 July. The discussions explored funding options for the project, which also entails developing solar power stations.
The African Development Bank Group, which has worked closely with both countries to prepare the project, affirmed its interest in co-funding.
The project aligns with the Bank Group’s Desert-to-Power initiative, which is set to become the world’s largest area of solar power generation.
The initiative will increase solar production capacity by 100MW. It will also strengthen and extend distribution networks covering nearly 1,500km of high-voltage (225kV) lines.
Mauritania’s Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development, Abdessalam Ould Mohamed Saleh, said: “The strategic nature of this project will have a strong transformative effect on the economy while creating a connection to the Senegal River Basin Development Organisation’s grid.”
Power transmission line to drive region’s energy transition
AfDB Group’s Deputy Director General for North Africa and Country Manager for Mauritania, Malinne Blomberg, said: “The aim of our involvement in this large-scale project is to turn our policy of supporting the development of green infrastructure in Africa into a reality.
“To promote green, inclusive, sustainable growth, which will significantly improve the living conditions of people in Africa.”
“We firmly believe that this project will have a transformative effect on promoting both the private sector and trade and, consequently, create job opportunities.”
Daniel Schroth, the Bank Group’s Director for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency, said this regional project is a flagship for the sub-region’s energy transition.
He lauded the close cooperation between Mauritania and Mali, as well as technical and financial partners in preparing the project.
Originally published by Yunus Kemp on ESI-Africa.