AfDB Approves US$116.7 Million Loan for Mauritius

The African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved a US $116.7 million loan which has been given to the Mauritius Central Electricity Board (CEB).

CEB are due to work on the redevelopment of the Saint Louise Power Plant, at a total cost of US$129.7 million. The state-owned electricity utility is expected to increase the installed capacity by 60 megawatts and will contribute to bridging the gap in power supply infrastructures. The much needed loan comes after electricity supply demand projections revealed demand of customers in Mauritius is set to exceed the current generating capacity connected to the power grid by the end of next year.

"The project aims to increase the firm generating capacity of the CEB so as to maintain reliability of supply, reduce environmental impacts and stabilise the electricity supply," said the AfDB.

The project will provide four medium-speed, four-stroke, heavy fuel oil (HFO) driven generators with a capacity of 15 MW each; a power station building; two 1,000 cubic metre tanks for the storage of HFO; and one 132 kV substation for connection of the power plant to CEB's existing electricity grid."

According to the AfDB, the main sectors of the Mauritius' economy – tourism, textiles and financial services – are all dependent on the availability of a secure and reliable supply of electricity. The bank added that, the government was finalising a ten-year Economic and Social Transformation Plan (ESTP): "For its implementation, the government has prepared the 2014 – 2018 Public Sector Investment Program (PSIP), which includes the proposed project. The government will be relying on the AfDB as a lead financier in closing any gap in the financing of the PSIP."

This project will be the AfDB's first major intervention in Mauritius' energy sector.

"The AfDB has wide experience in similar types of projects in many African countries. The additional knowledge gained under the project will be useful as the bank designs projects in its island member states and in areas of continental Africa that are far away from transmission grids."