The World Bank has approved a grant of US$8M to support the Government of the Central African Republic's (CAR) plans to rehabilitate the country’s power infrastructure – including hydro power facilities – while balancing supply and demand in the capital Bangui, and helping the country’s power utility to improve its financial and operational sustainability.

During the energy crisis in June 2008, over half of the electricity supply was lost for several weeks, affecting Bangui’s water supply. The rehabilitation project will reduce the risk of such a crisis reoccurring in one of Africa’s poorest countries, while partially restoring reliable power supply to electricity utility Enerca’s customers in Bangui.

In particular, the project will rehabilitate the Boali 1 and 2 hydro power facilities, a part of a much larger hydroelectric power complex, thereby increasing reliable power supply. Boali 3, which includes a dam and powerhouse, would present the last phase of this complex and investors for its reconstruction are now being sought, with some bilaterals and multilaterals showing interest.

The project will be closely coordinated with AFD (the French aid agency), which is already financing the partial rehabilitation of power generation in CAR. The estimated total cost of this project is US$8M. It will be entirely financed by IDA and will be implemented for three years. The grant is expected to close on June 30, 2012.