The Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA), managed by the African Development Bank, has approved on 30 May 2018 a US$ 1 million grant to support the Republic of São Tomé & Príncipe in unlocking private investments in the development of mini hydropower projects. The projects will have a medium-term effect of reducing the country’s dependence on imported heavy oil and diesel fuel as well as increase the use of clean and reliable energy resources on the islands.
The SEFA grant activities will facilitate the preparation of feasibility, and environmental and social impact studies for five sites but not limited to the corresponding projects’ front-end engineering designs and grid interconnection studies. The technical assistance will also develop a roll-out plan to enhance project commercialization, including structuring project financing and preparation of competitive tender documentation.
São Tomé & Príncipe has an electricity access rate of about 70%, with its power generation mix being predominantly thermal. But out of the 35MW-installed capacity, only 58% is available to the grid due to aging generation assets and lack of maintenance.
“This project plays a crucial catalytic role in the country’s ongoing efforts to unlock private investment in small-scale renewables, particularly in the mini-hydro space,” said Amadou Hott, African Development Bank’s Vice President for Power, Energy, Climate Change and Green Growth.
This intervention supports Government of São Tomé & Príncipe’s 2017-2021 National Development Plan, which aims at achieving at least 50% renewable in the energy mix by 2030. The project aligns with the Africa Development Bank’s Country Strategy Paper for São Tomé & Príncipe (2018-2022), which has a dedicated pillar on investments into mini hydro projects. It is also mainly driven by the Bank’s New Deal on Energy for Africa, particularly with a focus on “Renewable Energy” and “Early Stage Project Finance”.
Original source: AfDB
Published on 27 June 2018