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NOUAKCHOTT, Mauritania, January 26, 2024 — Mauritania’s Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development, Abdessalam Mohamed Saleh, and the African Development Bank’s Deputy Managing Director for North Africa, Malinne Blomberg, sealed a pivotal agreement in Nouakchott on Thursday. The financing agreements, totaling $289.5 million, mark a significant step towards advancing solar power generation, transnational electricity interconnection, and rural electrification in Mauritania.
Key stakeholders present at the ceremony included the Minister of Energy, Oil and Mines, Nany Ould Chrougha, Mohamed Mahmoud Sid’Elemine, Managing Director of the Société de gestion de l’énergie de Manantali (SOGEM), and Ousmane Tall, Managing Director of the Société mauritanienne d’électricité (SOMELEC).
The funding, comprising loans and grants, will drive two major projects: the 225 kV Mauritania-Mali electricity interconnection and associated solar power plants development project (PIEMM) and the project to strengthen productive and energy investments for the sustainable development of rural areas (RIMDIR).
Mr. Abdelssalam Mohamed Saleh emphasized the crucial role of reliable electricity in achieving sustainable, diversified economic growth and outlined ambitious programs for universal electricity access by 2030. He acknowledged the African Development Bank’s contribution to optimizing the country’s energy sources.
Mrs. Blomberg highlighted the transformative impact of the two projects on Mauritania’s energy landscape, fostering green growth, sustainable investment, and job creation.
The PIEMM project, aligned with the Desert to Power Initiative, focuses on building a 225 kV electricity interconnection between Mauritania and Mali. The program aims to develop solar power plants and establish a 1,373-kilometer high-voltage power line with a transit capacity of 600 megawatts (MW). The project, backed by a $272 million loan from the African Development Fund and a $1.5 million grant from the Green Climate Fund, represents the largest financing ever provided by the African Development Bank to Mauritania.
The RIMDIR project, supported by a $16 million grant from the Sustainable Energy Fund for Africa, focuses on rural electrification for 40 localities in southeastern Mauritania. It involves the installation of hybrid mini photovoltaic power plants, connecting lines to link the power plants to villages, and supports value-creating activities, particularly in the food cold chain and agri-food processing.
These projects underscore the African Development Bank’s commitment to Mauritania’s development across various sectors, contributing to sustainable energy, rural electrification, and economic growth.