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AfDB to provide $9.72m African hydropower modernisation

The African Development Bank-managed Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA) has approved a $9.72 million grant to scale up the Africa Hydropower Modernisation Programme (AHMP),…

The African Development Bank-managed Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA) has approved a $9.72 million grant to scale up the Africa Hydropower Modernisation Programme (AHMP), a one-stop shop that overhauls African hydropower systems to enhance their reliability and flexibility. 

With this new funding, AHMP will expand the modernisation of a pipeline of 12 private-sector-led projects in eight countries selected through a competitive process. 

The physical works and preparation activities will lead to an additional 570MW of available capacity at an estimated $1 billion investment, including from the private sector. 

They will also reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 1,700 kilotons of CO2 equivalent per year. The grant was approved on November 21, 2023, according to a statement by AfDB on Tuesday. 

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The projects include the upgrade of the cooling water system for Sudan’s 280 MW Roseires plant to reduce forced outages and the replacement of electromechanical equipment older than 60 years at the 7MW Lubilanji 1 plant in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

João Duarte Cunha, African Development Bank Division Manager for Renewable Energy and SEFA Manager, said: “About half of Africa’s hydropower assets are over 30 years old and ageing fast; modernising them with the latest electro-mechanical and digital technologies is the fastest and cheapest way to increase clean energy capacity and enhance system flexibility needed to accelerate energy transition efforts.”