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Business News of Thursday, 28 May 2015

Source: B&FT

AFD retrofits Kpong Hydroelectric dam with €50million

AgenceFrancaise de Development (AFD), a public financial institution that implements development policies of the French government, has given a loan for €50million to retrofit the Kpong Hydroelectric Dam in a bid to help ease the current energy crisis in the country.

The rehabilitation work is one of the organisation’s flagship projects in the country. AFD took journalists to the site to inspect the progress of work so far. Currently, one of the four turbines has been shut down and dismantled for rehabilitation.

Additionally, work is being done to change the control system from manual to automatic, and work is being done for the installation of new equipment in the control room.

The project when completed will produce 160 MW of electricity to the national grid, which is expected to provide secured energy to households for the next 30 years and also mitigate climate change.

Speaking to the media, Amelie July - Resident Manager of AFD, said one of the project’s benefits is to help improve the financial situation of VRA, which is necessary for the sustainability of electricity supply and competitiveness in both the national and regional markets.

Other projects that the organisation is undertaking in the country include Ghana Urban Management Pilot Project (GUMPP). The organisation has committed €40.5million to finance certain selected projects such as markets, abattoirs, drains, rehabilitation of neighbourhoods, and training for local authorities on how to manage public and territorial infrastructure in four secondary cities, namely: Kumasi, Tamale, Sekondi-Takoradi and Ho.

In the area of food security and job-creation, AFD in the past 15 years has been supporting rural communities in Northern Ghana to strengthen the rice-growing sector via lowland development. The ongoing €13.8million project aims to develop 6,000 hectares and increase the production and technical skills of 1,000 producers in order to better-serve a rapidly growing domestic market and reduce the cost of rice imports.

In the Central and Western Regions, AFD since 1986 has partnered with industrial operators and producer groups to develop over 26,000 hectares of village plantations for over 6,000 farmers.

AFD will be celebrating its 30-years anniversary this month since it began its operations in Ghana in 1985. Over the past 30 years, AFD’s contribution to the development of Ghana in terms of funding amounts to €1.3billion through more than a hundred projects.

On a cumulative basis, total commitments of the Group from 2004 to 2014 amount to €901million, of which €805million are loans, €84million are grants, and €12million is guarantees.