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Industry News

West Africa Needs $10 Billion in Power Investments

LCG, Oct. 3, 2001--A plan approved by the energy ministers of the Economic Community of West Africa States aimed at solving the problems of the regional energy sector calls for an investment of $10 billion in the West African electric power infrastructure, the Nigeria Guardian reported this morning.

Raising that sum will be difficult, the plan admits, because of the perception of the countries as belonging to the high risk zone.

The plan said "both domestic and international investors are discouraged by the high risk they see stemming from West Africa's wars, rebellions, coups, refugees, labor unrest, ethnic clashes and corruption."

The ministers said the need was urgent to build new power plants and to update and build new high voltage transmission lines over the next 15 years.

According to the master plan released in Abuja, Nigeria, yesterday, about $5.8 billion is needed in new investments for a 10-fold increase in existing transmission capacity and six-fold increase in installed generation capacity.

The plan said that putting into operation the West Africa Power pool, which was conceived about 20 years ago, could help power improvements move forward.

"Implementation of the WAPP will create benefits that can be captured and shared among governments, utility companies and end-use consumers," the Guardian quoted the plan as emphasizing.

But there remains a considerable deterrent to investment because of all those wars, rebellions, coups, refugees, labor unrest, ethnic clashes and corruption.

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