The African Development Bank Group (AfDB) board of directors have authorised a supplementary loan of $14.57 million to rehabilitate and expand the distribution networks in Juba, South Sudan.
The loan, which will be distributed under the African Development Fund, is approved to cover the budget deficit of the total project that was granted four years ago.
In December 2013, the multilateral development finance institution approved a grant of $26 million for financing of the project.
This amount was used to fund the whole scope of the project, which includes recruitment of the project supervision and management consultant and distribution systems construction contractor, the Bank explained.
The AfDB further explained that this project is aimed at strengthening the distribution networks in Juba to provide reliable electricity supply from existing and future generation facilities and thus satisfying the suppressed load and demand growth in the city.
The project consists of the construction of 145km of 33kV lines; 370km of 415/230 volt lines; the purchase and installation of 195 transformer stations, as well as 20,000 prepaid meters for connecting 20,000 new customers.
Presenting the project to the board, the director general, East Africa Regional Development and Business Delivery Office, Gabriel Negatu, noted that South Sudan was facing several challenges to improve the life of the South Sudanese.
Negatu highlighted that South Sudan being amongst the poorest countries in sub-Saharan Africa, requires huge support from development partners.
“The country’s infrastructure particularly the energy sector, is in its infancy and would require substantial investments to create an enabling environment for economic development,” he underscored.
He added: “The project will contribute to reduce the inefficiencies of the network and increase electricity access in Juba.”
The project is highly aligned with the Bank’s High 5s for Powering and Lighting up Africa as it will increase the electrification rate in the North African country, both for residential and commercial use, the AfDB added.