In a major boost to the Tunisian renewable energy sector, African Development Board (AfDB) has sanctioned €138 million (~$153.5 million) for the Tunisian Company of Energy and Gas (STEG) to develop an electricity transmission network.
The allocated amount includes €108 million (~$120 million) as a loan, and the remaining €30 million (~$33.4 million) will be raised from Africa Growing Together Fund (AGTF).
The project, which will incur a total cost of €290 million (~$323 million), is jointly financed by the Islamic Development Bank and STEG, which will provide €121 million (~$135 million) and €31 million (~$34.5 million), respectively. The project includes the construction of nearly 250 km of transmission network and high and medium voltage transformer stations.
This latest move is expected to help grow the renewable energy sector in Tunisia and facilitate stability of the electricity grid.
Speaking about the project, Mohammad El Azizi, AfDB’s managing director for the North African region, said that this is an important project, and its impact will be huge on the quality of energy supplied throughout the country. As a result, the STEG will be better equipped to cope with the continued rise in demand and evacuate a higher amount of electricity, including that which will be generated by future solar and wind power plants, which are under development, he added.
Tunisia, a North African country, has witnessed increased activity in the renewable energy sector lately.
Last year, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) said that it would provide a €40 million (~$46.2 million) subordinated loan to Attijari bank Tunisia, which is a private bank and part of the Attijariwafa Bank Group. The loan was aimed at strengthening its capital base, grow its lending operations, and increase its volume of long-term financing for climate-related projects and smaller businesses.
Tunisia also released a list last year consisting of 16 bidders to develop 500 MW of solar projects across the country. In May 2018, the country floated a tender for 500 MW of solar projects to be developed on a build, own, operate model at five locations.
Earlier, the Ministry of Energy, Mines, and Renewable Energies of the Republic of Tunisia tendered 70 MW of solar projects to be developed across the country. The capacity tendered was divided into two batches. One batch consisted of six 10 MW solar PV projects, and the other comprises ten 1 MW solar PV projects. The power generated from these projects will be sold to the Tunisian Company of Electricity and Gas.