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(File photo)

IDB grants US$30-M loan to Suriname for rural electrification project

(File photo)

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has approved the disbursement of a US$30-million investment loan to Suriname to finance a project that will increase and improve access to electricity in Suriname.

The project will also focus on enhancing the country’s energy reforms and diversifying its energy mix.

The national flag of Suriname

According to the IDB, “Although most of Suriname’s population has access to electricity, there are significant disparities between urban (99%) and rural (90%) areas.”

“Additionally, the remote communities located in the coastal and in the Hinterland areas (including interior villages that extend to the Amazon Rainforest) receive an expensive and poor-quality service as they are underserved with low electricity service provision of six hours or less of service or no service,” the regional bank stated.

The poor-quality service and low electricity service, the IDB pointed out, is due to the cost of supplying rural areas being higher than the national average.

“…The remote communities located in the coastal and in the Hinterland areas receive an expensive and poor-quality service as they are underserved with low electricity service provision of six hours or less of service or no service”

— Inter-American Development Bank

The loan will, therefore, “support adequate and modern access to sustainable electricity to enhance the living conditions for rural populations while improving the rural business environment with better provision of electricity as a public service”.

With the funds from the IDB, the Surinamese Government will be expanding distribution networks and improving or building feeders and substations connected to the national grid.

In addition, the authorities will install solar plants with energy storage in the towns of Brownsweg and Alliance, and small solar grids in the region of the Upper Suriname River to provide 24/7 electricity to villages in the vicinity. As a result, the projects will increase the use of renewable energy in the South American country.

A solar plant constructed by NV Energiebedrijven Suriname (Photo: EBS)

In the meantime, Suriname will finance studies and projects focused on the use of renewable energy and natural gas so as to diminish its dependence on fossil fuels.

Furthermore, with rural areas as a priority, the country will invest in projects aimed at upgrading and expanding the transmission and distribution infrastructure of the national grid managed by Energie Bedrijven Suriname.

An N.V. Energiebedrijven Suriname electricity-generating plant. (Photo: Waterkant)

“The programme will support the implementation of the energy reform by strengthening the EBS and the Energy Authority of Suriname, the regulatory agency created in 2016, and by financing the elaboration of the Electricity Sector Plan 2024-2028,” the IDB revealed.