West African Power Pool (WAPP)
In an effort to improve power reliability and encourage private sector investment, ECOWAS has been working to establish the West African Power Pool (WAPP). In October 2000, 14 ECOWAS members signed an agreement to launch a project to boost power supply in the region. The WAPP agreement reaffirmed the decision to develop energy production facilities and interconnect their respective electricity grids. In December 2003, ECOWAS Heads of State signed the ECOWAS Energy Protocol, which provides open and non-discriminatory access to power generation sources and transmission facilities. In order to fully establish the WAPP within ECOWAS, project managers have identified four phases of the project that will be carried out over a 20-year period. The first phase involves laying the ground rules for how the WAPP will function and linking interconnection lines between zone A countries (Burkina Faso, CÔte dIvoire, Ghana, Niger and Togo) and zone B countries (Cape Verde, the Gambia, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Senegal and Sierra Leone). Completion of the first phase is set for the end of 2006. The second phase (2007 – 2012) includes building missing links along Nigerias coastal line, development of new institutional entities and implementing policies from phase one. Phases three and four (2012 – 2023) involve making the system fully operational. USAID has funded the planning for WAPP which included (1) ECOWAS Vision Statement and Action Plan for WAPP (2) agreements on rules for trading electricity (3) regional regulatory body (4) dispute resolution mechanism (5) mechanisms for cooperation to maintain grid stability and (6) training in energy modeling and forecasting. The World Bank has committed a $350 million credit for the development of WAPP. Of this amount, $40 million has been secured by Ghana to implement the 330 kv Aboadze-Volta transmission line. USAID-funded implementing partners working with ECOWAS and national utility corporations include PA Consulting, Nexant, Associates for International Resources and Development, Purdue University, and the U.S. Energy Association.
The Organization for the Development of the Senegal River (OMVS), which consists of Mali, Mauritania and Senegal, has constructed two dams. Senegal completed the Diama dam in 1986 and its primary function is to stop the upstream encroachment of seawater from the Atlantic Ocean. In 1987, Mali completed the Manatali dam, which OMVS built on the Bafing River, the main tributary of the Senegal River. The Manatali project was also to include a 200-MW power station and an 800-mile network of transmission lines to the capitals of Mali (Bamako), Mauritania (Nouakchott) and Senegal (Dakar). Cost overruns, coupled with political and military tensions between Mauritania and Senegal initially canceled the construction of the power facilities. In March 2000, ADB approved a $33.5 million loan for the Manatali energy project. The Manatalis generating facilities came online in December 2001, supplying power to Malis grid. Senegal connected its power grid to Manatali in July 2002 and Nouakchott was connected in November 2002. The OMVS signed a new charter in May 2002 to allocate water resources and hydroelectric power, and approved the restructuring of the Manatali Water Management Company (SOGEM). SOGEM will maintain ownership of infrastructure and equipment at Manatali, but Eskom will handle marketing and distribution of power generated at Manatali. Since 2004, OMVS has been conducting a feasibility study on the construction of the Felou hydroelectric power plant (60 MW) in Mali. In February 2006, the European Commission and the European Investment Bank set up a trust fund for infrastructure in Africa that is expected to finance the construction of the Felou power plant and an interconnection between grids in Malawi and Mozambique. The trust fund has a $422 million budget, which will be coupled with loans from the European Bank.
In 2004, the ADB agreed to issue a $5.4 million grant to finance the study on electricity production and transmission to the member states of the Organization for the Development of the River Gambia (OMVG), a regional organization whose members are The Gambia, Guinea, Guinea Bissau and Senegal. The focus of the study will be the Sambangalou hydroelectric project on the Gambia River in The Gambia, the Kaleta dam on the Konkoure River in central Guinea, and regional integration of power grids in the four countries. A larger production of hydropower is set to help end the persistent problem of power shortages and the heavy dependence on imported petroleum products for the production of electricity.