The African Development Bank (AfDB) has committed to allocate $ 530 million to build a transmission line in Angola.
The north of the country has a surplus of renewable energy of more than 1,000 MW. The south, meanwhile, is dependent on diesel generators, for which government subsidies are required.
With the construction of the 343 km long 400 kV central-south transmission line, clean energy can be better distributed in the country.
The new line will go live in 2023, the AfDB said. This will reduce the need for 46.8 billion liters of diesel per year in the south and save 80 million tons of CO2 emissions. Angola will also save more than $ 130 million a year in diesel subsidies.
The AfDB will provide US $ 480 million to fund the work. The China-backed Africa Growing Together Fund (AGTF) will raise an additional US $ 50 million. The AGTF is a $ 2 billion facility owned by the People's Bank of China and managed by the AfDB.
The bank also noted that measurement in Angola would improve. 860,000 prepaid meters will be installed as part of the Angola Energy Efficiency and Expansion (ESEEP) program. According to the statement, 400,000 new customers would be connected to the electricity grid.
The ESEEP will be the “first step” to connect to the Southern Africa Power Pool (SAPP). The new line will distribute the energy in the southern provinces of Angola and Namibia.
Angola increased its renewable energy generation from 1,017 MW to 2,763 MW between 2015 and 2019.
The financing commitment comes from the fact that the Portuguese MCA group laid the foundation stone for a large solar project in Angola.
On March 11, the US Sun Africa laid the foundation stone for the solar project, which is considered the largest in sub-Saharan Africa. Sun Africa is building a 370 MW solar portfolio in the country, which consists of seven individual projects. The Biopio project will have an output of 188 MW, making it the largest single plant in sub-Saharan Africa.
Sun Africa will build two of the plants in Benguela Province. According to the World Bank, 43% of Angola's population have access to electricity. The government aims to increase this number to 60% by 2025.
The Swedish Export Credit Corp., the South Korean K-Sure and the South African DBSA are funding the $ 650 million project. Sun Africa has announced that approximately $ 150 million in equipment and services will come from the United States. Hitachi and ABB are also working on the project.
The companies will manufacture solar modules in South Korea, while Sweden will provide equipment and transmission systems. Sweden provides most of the funding.
Angolan Minister of Energy and Water, Joao Batista Borges, said the project was a “strong bet” by the government on new renewable energies.
The project is possible because “the creditors have confidence in Angola's ability to meet its commitments and, above all, in the country's stability and firm leadership,” said Borges.