Burkina Faso to ink $51 million deal with EU to increase electricity coverage

The government of Burkina Faso has secured a $51 million deal from the European Union (EU) and the French Development Agency to support the construction of power transmission lines from Nigeria to Burkina Faso.

The Dorsale Nord project features 880 km of high-voltage transmission lines from Birnin Kebi in Nigeria to Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso.

According to the agreement, Nigeria will supply power production excesses, which allows deficit countries to import electricity at a lower cost.

The project is part of the West Africa Power Pool, a regional power project, which aims to create a regional electricity market.

The West African Power Pool is a specialized agency of ECOWAS. It covers 14 of the 15 countries of the regional economic community.

Dorsale Nord will allow Burkina Faso to import 150 megawatts of power to be added to local production, which is estimated to be 50 percent cheaper than the current production cost.

By 2020, Burkina Faso seeks to increase its electricity access rate from 20% to 80% as part of its National Plan for Economic and Social Development, doubling the number of customers to 1 million, and increasing installed capacity to 1,000 megawatts (MW).

Dorsale Nord includes a modernization of transmission infrastructure and electrification of 150 villages around the capital city, Ouagadougou.

The total cost of the project is approximately $678 million, of which 41 percent – around $298 million – is provided by Burkina Faso.

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