The African Development Bank (AfDB) has committed to funding $530 million to finance the construction of a 343 km, 400 kV central-south transmission line that will connect the north and south transmission grids in Angola to allow for power distribution between the two regions. The rationale behind the construction is that the north of Angola has over 1 GW of mostly renewable power while the southern part of the country still relies on diesel generators.

With the project, the transmission capacity will increase by 2.25 GW and reduce the dependency on polluting, diesel-powered generators. The project is set to be operational in 2023 and will reduce consumption of 46.8 billion litres of diesel per year in the south, and avert 80 megatonnes of CO2 emissions. Further, the government of Angola will save more than $130 million per year in diesel subsidies.

The funding will go into the first phase of the Energy Sector Efficiency and Expansion Program (ESEEP) in Angola, which will assist the government to connect the country’s transmission grids and combat operational challenges in the  Angolan power distribution utility ENDE. Through the ESEEP, 860,000 pre-paid meters will be installed and 400,000 new customers will be connected to the grid and effectively metered.

Earlier this month, the AfDB announced the sanction of a loan to support ACWA Power’s 200 MW Kom Ombo solar power project in Egypt. The bank will offer funding of $27.2 million in the form of a senior loan and the total cost of the project is $156.4 million. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Green Climate Fund Arab Bank, and the OPEC Fund for International Development were the key contributors.