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NELSAP to receive funding from AfDB for interconnection project [free access]

May 19, 2020

The African Development Bank (AfDB) will provide financial support to the Nile Equatorial Lakes Subsidiary Action Programme (NELSAP) for updating the feasibility study of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)–Uganda interconnection, which is part of the NEL Interconnection Project. The AfDB will provide USD0.925 million for the study under its NEPAD Infrastructure Project Preparation Facility (NEPAD-IPPF) while the DRC and Uganda will provide USD0.065 million as counterpart contributions.


The feasibility study, which is expected to run for 14 months, will be conducted by the NELSAP-Coordination Unit (CU), in consultation with DRC’s Société Nationale d'Electricité (SNEL) and Uganda Electricity Transmission Company Limited (UETCL). It will cover engineering design, tender documents preparation, environmental social impact assessment (ESIA) and a resettlement action plan (RAP), for the DRC–Uganda interconnection.


The latter interconnection will involve the construction of 352-km-long overhead transmission line (OHTL) at 220 kV (400 kV) and will connect the eastern part of DRC to Uganda’s power grid. The DRC portion connecting Beni–Bunia–Butemboand will be 280-km-long, which will then be connected to Nkenda (Uganda) via a 72-km-long OHTL. Further, it will include establishment of four substations — Beni, Bunia and Butembo in DRC and at Nkenda in Uganda, along with the telecommunication and rural electrification systems in the DRC sections.


The NEL interconnection project aims to link the electricity grids of the five NEL countries—Burundi, Kenya, Uganda, the DRC [eastern part] and Rwanda—under the NELSAP. The regional project involves the construction of 931 km of 220 kV and 110 kV lines, and 17 substations, to form an integrated grid system. It aims to improve the quality of the socioeconomic development of the member countries, by providing affordable electricity via cross-border power trade.