BUDGET 2024: With $95.7B for energy sector, expansions expected at GPL, solar & hydroelectricity projects

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A total of of $95.7 billion is allocated in the 2024 budget for the energy sector.

Finance Minister Dr. Ashni Singh said the funds will help the government to meet short-term energy needs and invest in doubling its generating capacity for the medium term and advance the transition towards cleaner and more renewable energy.

It also seeks to help rebuild the transmission and distribution (T&D) network to offtake the projected increases in generating capacity; invest in mini-grid systems for remote communities; and deploy household-level solutions for the less densely populated communities in the hinterland.

The monies in the 2024 budget for the energy sector builds on the $59.3 billion allocated in 2023.

An additional 28.9 MW of emergency power was procured last year at a cost of $5.9 billion and is being installed at the Columbia substation with that facility to be fully operational by February 2024.

A total of $80 billion is budgeted separately to advance the flagship 300 MW gas to energy project.

And while no monies for the 165 MW Amaila Falls Hydropower Project (AFHP), Dr. Singh said four firms submitted pre-qualification documentation and these are currently being evaluated.

Meanwhile, work on the mini-hydropower facilities in Kumu and Moco-Moco will move forward with $1.3 billion budgeted this year.

Another $4.8 billion has been budgeted to finance several solar power projects across the country.

To improve reliability by reducing the voltage drop and network losses, as well as provide access of electricity to over 475 new households, $180 million is budgeted to upgrade the primary distribution networks at Ituni, Kumaka and Kwakwani.

“Once these projects are all completed, we will be generating and delivering adequate electricity to meet our needs, and we will be able to reduce the cost of electricity to half of current levels,” Dr. Singh said.

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