In 2002 Benin supplied 285.2 million kWh of electricity and consumed 565.2 million kWh. Two organisations are responsible for electricity generation and supply in Benin. The first, Société Beninoise d’Electricité et d’Eau (SBEE), controls the vast majority of generating capacity in Benin. The second organisation is Communauté Electrique du Benin (CEB), located in Togo, which is a Benin – Togo joint venture for the purpose of purchasing electrical energy from the Volta River Authority hydro facilities in Ghana.

In July 2004 the World Bank approved an International Development Association (IDA) credit of US$45 million equivalent to assist the Government of Benin in reinforcing and expanding electrification and ensuring financial sustainability for the country’s power sector through restructuring and private sector participation in the distribution of electricity.

The money will be used to build 350 km of a single circuit 161 KV system in Benin between Kara in Togo to Djougou and Parakou, and Between Djougou and Nattitingou and between Parakou and Bembereke in Benin. It will build substations at Parakou and Djougou.. A second component of the project will ensure the expansion of power lines to provide electricity to several towns presently supplied by diesel generating units and 93 villages not yet electrified. This includes 35 villages along the right-of-way of the transmission lines, ensuring (by project completion) an electrification rate in Benin of about 30 percent, from the current electrification rate of about 22 percent.

The IDA credit is provided at the standard commitment fee of 0.5 percent, a service charge of 0.75 percent, and a maturity of 40 years, including a 10-year period of grace. The Government of Benin will finance other aspects of the project, whose total costs is estimated at US$95.7 million for Phase One, and US$ 166.7 million for Phases One and Two.

Shaun Bakamoso

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