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AfDB Approves $49.92mln Grant for Solar Power Project in Eritrea

The African Development Bank (AfDB) on Thursday said its board has approved a 49.92 million USD grant for a Solar Power Plant construction project in Eritrea.

The board approved the grant for a 30-megawatt solar photovoltaic power plant project with a battery backup system last week.

The project will be carried out on the outskirts of Dekemhare – a town located 40 km southeast of the capital Asmara.

“This is expected to contribute to increase generation capacity and grid energy to 185 MW and 365 GW-hours per year, respectively,” its financier said.

According to AfDB, Eritrea experiences inadequate, unreliable, expensive, and polluting electricity supply.

The available capacity is 35 MW for a peak demand of about 70 MW. Consequently, frequent load-shedding periods affect businesses and the population, as per AfDB.

The bank expects the planned power plant to help the country’s ongoing bid to achieve its Vision 2030 of increasing the electrification rate and meeting 20% of its power demand from renewable energy.

The power plant will have a 15 MW/30 MWh battery energy storage system, and a 33/66 kV substation.

It also involves the installation of a 66 kV transmission line connected to the existing line between East Asmara and Dekemhare.

Part of the grant will also be allocated to technical assistance and capacity building, says AfDB, adding that: “this component aims to support technical studies for large-scale renewable energy projects to respond to electricity demand” in Eritrea.