8 August 2012 – The World Bank has approved US$85 million to help the government of Senegal and the national power utility Senelec reduce its technical and commercial losses and to improve the reliability of electricity services in the country.
The financing will be used over five years to upgrade and modernise electricity transmission and distribution components; create more transparency and accountability within the energy sector; develop a medium and long-term strategy for the energy sector; and upgrade Senelec’s billing systems to reduce high collection costs and losses related to fraud.
“The development of energy infrastructure is a key component of the World Bank ’s strategy to support economic development in Senegal and across the African continent,” Jamal Saghir, World Bank director for sustainable development, Africa region, says. “Senegal is facing an energy crisis and this funding will help Senelec provide reliable electricity supply for economic growth and improve human well-being.”
The project cost of US$93.5 million will be financed by a US$85 million credit from the International Development Association, the Bank’s fund for the world’s poorest countries, and US$ 8.5 million from the government of Senegal.
Senelec’s commercial performance will be enhanced by installing prepayment modular meters and electronic smart meters that are capable of being read remotely. This equipment meets international standards for reducing fraud. The project includes support for the introduction of energy efficient lamps, and price incentives for consumers to reduce energy consumption.