Promoting a climate-friendly interconnected power system in West Africa
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH | Published October 21, 2014 - Deadline November 4, 2014
his call for expressions of interest for consulting firms and the is part of the technical cooperation project “Promoting a climate-friendly interconnected power system in West Africa”. The project to which the consultancy will contribute has a duration of 3 years and 2 months (from 11/2013 to 12/2016). The project is the first module of the identically named development cooperation programme "Promoting a climate-friendly interconnected power system in West Africa (ECOWAS Region)". ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States) comprises of 15 West African countries: Benin, Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde, Côte d'Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo.
The lack of electricity at affordable costs remains a major obstacle to the economic development of the ECOWAS region with its more than 300 million inhabitants. In 1999, the West African Power Pool (WAPP) was founded in order to overcome the electricity demand-supply gap and making better use of energy resources. In 2009, another regional organization, the ECOWAS Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE) was created in order to promote greater use of renewable energies (RE) and energy efficiency (EE). Until to date, however, important prerequisites for a sustainable West African power market are not yet fulfilled in all three areas of the power pool: electricity generation, transmission and distribution (core problem).
Deficiencies remain inter alia in tapping the potential of renewable energy sources (apart from existing large-scale hydropower), in the capacities required for control and trade in a regional interconnected power market, in the reduction of distribution losses of electricity supply companies, as well as in the capacities of the staff of the utilities. The project’s objective therefore is: Key conditions for a climate-friendly interconnected power system in the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) have been put in place.
To achieve this objective, the project supports the regional dissemination of experiences with "flagship projects" for renewable energies. Furthermore, the WAPP Secretariat receives support in developing the regional control centres as well as in revising and implementing a regional capacity building master plan aimed at improving the capacities of utilities, in the long term. Concerning the electricity distribution, the project, together with selected utilities, identifies options for the reduction of distribution losses, implements exemplary measures and disseminates the results in the region.
The project complements the activities of the German Financial Cooperation in the financing of generation and transmission infrastructure that contributes to the further setting-up of the WAPP. Moreover, the project coordinates closely with bilateral and global projects of German Development Cooperation, particularly in Nigeria, Ghana, Senegal and Benin. It cooperates with the EU and various bilateral and multilateral donors.
The lead executing agency is the ECOWAS-Commission (Economic Community of West African States) located in Abuja, Nigeria.
Important overarching implementation partners are the WAPP-Secretariat and ECREEE. Both institutions have been established by a decision of the ECOWAS heads of states, have a strong political mandate and are extremely well connected in the region. They are managed professionally and are well recognized in the region.
The WAPP Secretariat based in Cotonou, Benin, is responsible for planning and developing the infrastructure of the interconnected power system and the technical management and commercial handling of cross-border electricity trading. At present, the Secretariat has 10 permanent staff from different ECOWAS countries. The member utilities provide basic funding of about 25% of the WAPP Secretariat’s operating cost; the rest is covered by project funds from international donors.
ECREEE, headquartered in Cabo Verde, is tasked with developing policies and instruments the promotion of renewable energy and energy efficiency as well as with supporting the ECOWAS member states in the respective implementation. At present, ECREEE has employed 10 technical experts that are supported by two seconded experts (Austria and Spain). ECREEE’s work is based on a work plan consisting of several donor supported programs. ECREEE receives basic funding of ECOWAS in the amount of 20%; the rest is covered by different donors.
The project is active in 5 output areas:
(A) Generation - Framework conditions for RE
(B) Generation - RE flagship projects
(C) Transmission - Dispatch and electricity trading
(D) Distribution - Reduction of distribution losses
(E) Capacity Development – Training courses for electric power utilities
The Firm of Consultants shall mainly support the implementation of Output Area D: Distribution – Reduction of distribution Losses.
In preparation for the establishment of a regional electricity market, the WAPP Secretariat has embarked on projects to develop additional interconnections between countries and to reinforce the existing interconnections. The Heads of Government of ECOWAS approved the revised Master Plan detailing the WAPP Priority Projects to be developed to interconnect the ECOWAS Countries at high voltage. The ECOWAS Master Plan adopted a regional approach to power generation and transmission investment planning.
The West African Power Pool in its bid to provide the citizenry of the community with increased access to stable and reliable electricity supply at affordable costs has subsequently made some achievements in the WAPP interconnected transmission system, covering the member countries.
However, in the downstream sector of the electricity supply chain, the Distribution Utilities are very much constrained. Most of the Distribution Utilities operating in the Region have been saddled with challenges for years. These Utilities are not able to meet their financial obligations and have poor service delivery.
The West African Power Pool recognizes that weak distribution companies in the member countries cannot commercially support the chosen mode of adding future private power supply generation requirements through the WAPP transmission interconnections. There is therefore the urgent need to strengthen the infrastructure, improve financial health and expand the customer base of the member distribution companies for the on-going improvement in the WAPP Bulk Power Transmission Interconnections to be substantially beneficial to industry and the citizenry in the member countries.
The WAPP Secretariat’s main objective for the assignment is to prepare a Distribution Utilities Development Plan.and implement pilot Project.
The development plan shall consist of the following components: (a) grid study for the diagnosis of, inter alia, the extent and causes of losses as well as the capitalization of existing successful approaches (technical and organizational), (b) recommendations of technical measures, for example norms, standards and planning guidelines, and (c) recommendations for investment planning