The West African Power Pool (WAPP) sub-regional interconnection project referred to as 330 KV North Core Power Project is estimated to cost 568 million dollars upon completion.
Minister of Power, Mr Sale Mamman, disclosed this in Abuja on Thursday at the first Joint Ministerial Steering Committee Meeting (JMSC).
Mamman said the governments of Nigeria, Niger, Togo , Benin and Bukina Faso through their collaborative efforts developed the sub-regional interconnection project.
He said the large scale project would be financed by the African Development Bank (AFDB) Agence Francaise de Development (AFD), the World Bank and the Federal Government of Nigeria.
He said: “The operation and maintenance of the entire infrastructure shall be handed over to the utility companies of the participating countries.”
According to the minister, this project is considered as one of the priority projects in the infrastructure programme of the WAPP aimed at facilitating efficient energy trade in the sub-region among several other benefits.
“This has already been assented to by the ECOWAS Heads of States and Government in their approval in December 2018 of the ECOWAS Master Plan for Development of Regional Generation and Transmission Infrastructure, 2019-2033.
“The North-Core Project involves the construction of approximately 875Kilo Meters(KM) of 330 Kilo Volt(KV) and 24 KM 225 KV transmission lines from Nigeria to Burkina Faso, through Niger and Benin with associated substations.
“The project will also involve the electrification of rural communities located within a 5Km radius on both sides of the line and the implementation of several environmental and social mitigation measures.
“These include, among others, the implementation of Resettlement Action Plans to provide compensation for persons and communities affected by the project,” he said.
Mamman said the launch of the North-Core Project in 2019 could not have come at a better time as it was one of the key envisaged solutions for coping with large electricity supply – demand imbalance within the ECOWAS region.
He described the WAPP-North- Core Regional Interconnector as a game changer that could shape the energy landscape of the sub-region through effective and efficient power trade.
On his part, Mr Douka Sediko, ECOWAS Commissioner for Energy and Mines, said the project aimed at connecting the countries involved by a 330 KV high voltage transmission line to facilitate electricity trade in the sub -region.
Sediko said the project would provide technical assistance to promote trade agreements among its participants and to extend access to electricity to the population along the transmission line.
“This project will enable an initial energy exchange, estimated at about 430 MW, which can reach more than 600 MW, five to 10 years after its commissioning.
“In addition to the transmission line, the project involves the construction or extension of five sub stations,” he said.
Earlier, The Secretary General of WAPP, Mr Siengu Ki, said the project which was one of the priority projects of WAPP was designed by the energy authorities of Nigeria, Togo, Niger, Benin and Burkina Faso.
Ki said this as part of the countries’ concerted efforts to set up a harmonised regional interconnection project.
“This consist of the construction of 880 km of 330 kV transmission lines from Birnin Kebbi to Ouagadougou via Zabori and Niamey and from Zabori to Malanville, with five associated processing stations to enable and strengthen electricity exchanges between the countries concerned.
“The project also includes the rural electrification of 611 localities located on both sides of the axis of the line.
“The implementation of environmental and social mitigation measures, as well as Resettlement Action Plans for individuals and communities affected by project activities are foreseen,” he said.