World Bank urges greater private sector participation in power transmission

By Jonathan Dyble

In a recent report, Linking Up: Public-Private Partnerships in Power Transmission in Africa, the World Bank has urged greater private sector involvement in the African power transmission industry.

The private sector is already heavily involved in the African energy sector, having invested $25bn into power generation projects. However, the World Bank states that transmission sector is yet to receive the same interest, despite having been a key area of investment in many other regions across the globe.

“The report has a very simple message: the private sector is already actively involved in power generation in Africa, and the same could happen in the transmission sector as has happened in other parts of the world under what we are calling the independent power transmission (IPT) model,” said Samuel Oguah, an energy specialist at the World Bank who co-authored the study.

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In regions where the private sector has invested in the transmission, industry benefits have been significant, with project costs having been reduced and coverage expanded.

The World Bank’s report “provides practical guidelines for government officials and industry practitioners in Africa on how to scale up private sector participation in the power transmission sector,” Oguah continued.

“These include developing clear policies, crafting legal and regulatory frameworks, testing various models, ensuring adequate revenue and credit enhancements as needed, amongst others.”

It is set to be presented at Future Energy Central Africa 2017 in the coming week, held in Yaoundé, Cameroon.

Here, the conference will welcome private regional industry developers and investors to try and facilitate grid extension, pricing and infrastructure development within Africa.

 

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