49.4-million euros loan have been approved on April 1st by the AfDB to the Tunisian Electricity and Gas Corporation, la Société tunisienne d’électricité et du gaz (STEG). This project is”aimed at improving the supply of cheaper and less polluting energy to the western region”, said an Afdb press release. The western part of the country, around 19 local communities in the region will be connected to natural gaz transportation and distribution networks. 260 kilometres of gas transportation networks and 404 kilometres of distribution networks will help improve the living conditions of people in the area. Presenting the project to the Board, Alex Rugamba, Director of AfDB’s Energy, Environment and Climate Change Department, emphasized that “the populations of the region will finally have access to natural gas which was only available to the coastal communities. Access to uninterrupted supply of this clean and affordable energy will help reduce the existing disparities between the west region and the other regions of the country by facilitating industrial development and job creation. The main project beneficiaries are small and medium-sized industries, small businesses and about 13,500 households in the project area,” he added.
The project will be implemented over a period of five years and should be completed in 2019. It is part of the country ‘s 2009-2016 Natural Gas Transportation and Distribution Master Plan and linked with the AfDB Interim Country Strategy Paper for Tunisia. A total amount of €56.5 million will be financed primarily by the AfDB. STEG will provide a balance of €7.1 million.