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330 kV North Core Project, Nigeria, Niger, Togo-Benin, Burkina Faso [free access]

July 13, 2020

Developers: CommunautéElectrique du Bénin (CEB), Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), Société Nationale d'Electricité du Burkina Faso (SONABEL) and Société Nigerienne d'Electricité (NIGELEC) of Niger


Project details and status: The 330 kV North Core Project is a 330 kV transmission line from Birnin Kebbi (Nigeria) to Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso), passing through Zabori (Niger) and Niamey (Niger) with a T-off to Malanville (Benin).


The USD567.5 million project comprises 875 km of lines and five associated substations, namely, the 330 kV Birnin Kebbi (Nigeria), 330 kV Niamey (Niger), 330 kV Zabori (Niger), 330 kV Ouagadougou (Burkina Faso) and 330 kV Malanville (Benin) substations. It also entails the installation of supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) and fibre-optic systems.


The project will help in the regional integration of the West Africa Power Pool (WAPP) countries.


In 2016, NEPAD Infrastructure Project Preparation Facility (NEPAD-IPPF) provided USD5.9 million for the preparation of this project.


In March 2018, WAPP invited expressions of interest (EoIs) for undertaking engineering consultancy services for the control and supervision of the construction the project.


In April 2018, WAPP invited bids for the recruitment of a project director [Implementation Management Unit (IMU) Director] for the implementation of the project.


In November 2018, World Bank extended USD465.5 million financial support under its International Development Association (IDA) for project. Of the total amount, USD275.6 million will be in the form of a loan, while the remaining USD189.9 million will be in the form of a grant.                                           


In March 2019, Agence Française de Développement (AFD) and the European Union (EU) signed financing agreements aggregating USD51 million for establishing Burkina Faso’s transmission components in the project. Of the total amount, USD34 million will be in the form of a loan and USD17 million (CFA9.84 billion) in the form of a grant.


In September 2019, WAPP invited various prequalification bids for the project. The first prequalification bid was for undertaking engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) of 330 kV power lines,  second prequalification bid involved EPC of substations and extension of the dispatch centre in Niger and Benin and the last bid invited was for the construction of the 62-km-long, 330 kV Birnin Kebbi–Nigeria/Niger border line. All these contracts will be funded by the World Bank.


In October 2019, WAPP launched more tenders for the project. The first tender was for the EPC of 330 kV double-circuit lines between Niger/Burkina Faso border and Gorou Banda (104 km in Niger) and second for the EPC of the 330/225/90/33 kV Ouaga-Est Electric transformer Station on a turnkey. Both the contracts are being funded AfDB.


In May 2020, Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) announced that it targeted to completed the project by 2023.