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Energy bodies gather to address Comoros energy crisis

Energy stakeholders gathered in Abidjan to support the Union of the Comoros and the African Development Bank (AfDB) in efforts to address the energy crisis currently facing the island located north-west of Madagascar.

According to the AfDB, Comoros depends on the power sector for its continuous development and growth however high production and maintenance costs teamed with low recovery rates are hindering the performance of the island.

The AfDB has two ongoing operations within Comoro’s energy sector.

The first project involves the refurbishments of generation plants and distribution plants otherwise known as the ‘Energy Sector Support Project’ costing an estimated $20 million.

The second project is known as the ‘Energy Sector Support Programme’ totalling an estimated $6 million.

Additional support and projects include:

  • Energy Sector Reform Support Programme (PARSE), amounting to approximately US $6 million
  • The AfDB will provide legal services via the African Legal Support Facility (ALSF) which is hosted by the Bank.

Private sector investment

According to the AfDB, in October 2014 the AfDB committed to fund technical assistance via the Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa (SEFA), to further enhance existing reforms in Comoros designed to encourage private-sector investment.

Emmanuel Mbi, First Vice-President of the AfDB said: “Private investment may help to consolidate the energy industry and boost power generation. Private sector involvement is key to economic activity in general, and is particularly important in driving more inclusive growth.”

The World Bank has contributed $5 million towards the improvement of the parastatal power company in addition to improving the standard of service.

Development partner support

The Islamic Development Bank (IDB) has made a revolving fund available to the national hydrocarbon company to ensure there is an uninterrupted supply of heating oil. In addition the IDB will fund an energy Master Plan where energy experts will be deployed to the Comoros to transfer knowledge and skills of similar experiences.

The AfDB said in a statement: “The next step will involve the drafting of an energy Master Plan. It will outline the necessary reforms, including the option of privatisation and investments needed in the sector to diversify the energy mix in Comoros. The long-term aim will be to achieve sustainable and affordable energy. This, in turn, will foster inclusive growth and trigger a transition to green growth.”

“A second High-Level Consultation is planned in the next six months to present the key aspects of the Master Plan and to adopt the preferred options to develop the country’s energy sector. Once the Master Plan has been finalised, a new meeting is expected to take place to mobilise the necessary resources from public and private partners”, they concluded.

Nicolette Pombo-van Zyl
Nicolette is the Editor of ESI Africa print journal, ESI-Africa.com and the annual African Power & Energy Elites. She is passionate about placing African countries on the international stage and is driven by the motto "The only way to predict the future is to create it". Join her in creating a sustainable future through articles and multimedia content.