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Rural energy supply to increase economic opportunities for all

 

The IDB’s loan, “Support to improve sustainability of the electric sector”, aims to contribute to the sustainability of the power sector by strengthening the operational procedures and corporate performance of Energie Bedrijven Suriname (EBS), and by improving the sustainability of rural electricity supply.

At present, the loan is in an early stage of execution (eligibility reached on April 22, 2014) and has not yet yielded any results in support of its overall objective. However, with this loan, the EBS is prioritizing its corporate performance through investments in Enterprise Resource Planning Systems, Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition Systems, and Geographical Information Systems. These systems will enable EBS to execute efficient control over the various grids, improve asset monitoring, and optimize financial processing to serve its customers more effectively. EBS will have a strong decision-making tool by linking data to the spatial information, thus aiming to improve client services.

In addition to the aforementioned corporate improvements for the EBS, this loan will connect the Powakka village and surrounding communities (Amer-Indian communities) to the Paramaribo Grid (EPAR). It will also connect the Atjoni Area and surrounding communities (i.e., Maroon communities) to a diesel generator/solar hybrid system. The goal is to provide these communities with electricity 24 hours a day, which at present is limited to 6–12 pm. In connecting these communities, at least 7,000 individuals will gain access to constant electricity.

Another expected impact of this program is the increase of activity among small and medium enterprises in these communities. For example, the Powakka area and its surrounding communities have already envisioned setting up a pineapple storage and processing facility, which will complement the existing pineapple production. The Atjoni area is a crucial location at which to execute the government’s decentralization program. Atjoni consists of various government buildings including the office of the district commissioner and a secondary school. This project not only will make EBS a more efficient company but also will bring electricity 24 hours a day to underserved areas in the hinterland of Suriname.

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Source: EBS website (http://www.nvebs.com)

 

 

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