World Bank to finance construction of hydroelectric dams on Sao Tome and Principe

24 May 2010

Sao Tome, Sao Tome and Principe, 24 May – Sao Tome and Principe may benefit this year from “very significant” financial aid from the World Bank to reform the energy sector, the institution’s representative in the island country has stated.

In comments to Portuguese news agency Lusa on Friday, Olivier Fremond did not disclose the amount of the assistance. He said talks with the government on the matter were “quite advanced” and should be completed with a view to providing the financial assistance within the next 30 days.

About two months ago the World Bank announced that the government would negotiate with external private partners to make investments in the energy sector in Sao Tome and Principe.

But after the meeting with Sao Tome’s head of government, Fremond indicated that financial aid for the energy sector was part of “the progress the country has made in fighting poverty”.

Unblocking the fund is meant to overcome the crisis affecting the sector and reorganise and promote the country’s socio-economic development through the construction of small hydroelectric dams, the World Bank representative said.

Sector improvements include replacement of the high and low tension system, including the obsolete power distribution network, which has caused major supply problems for the country’s only production, distribution and commercialisation utility.

This week the World Bank announced that it was unblocking the amount of US$10 million of the US$25 million needed for Sao Tome and Principe to modernise the country’s telecommunications system via an underwater cable. (macauhub)