The development of the electricity sector in São Tomé and Principe, a small island country whose access to electricity services is very low, faces several constraints: electricity is mainly generated from inefficient thermal power plants that have suffered from chronic underinvestment; tariffs are relatively high but do not cover the costs of the service; the operational performance of the national water and electricity utility (EMAE) is well below international standards; the regulatory and planning capacities of the sector are limited.
The Government has therefore embarked on a proactive policy of improving and extending affordable, reliable and sustainable energy services. International donors support this policy by funding investments in key infrastructure, technical assistance for skills development in the sector, and the definition of key areas for reform.
In this context, with funding from the World Bank, ICEA provided assistance to the Regulatory Authority (AGER) for the implementation of the new sectoral legal framework. It includes:
the definition of a budget and a strategic plan for the regulation of the electricity sector for the next three years
the finalization of several regulatory texts, which will be used as regulatory tools (concession contract of the incumbent operator, implementing regulations)
the development of a new tariff regulation framework, accompanied by the development of a tariff model, aimed at determining the new electricity tariffs geared towards covering costs
the preparation of a two-year technical assistance to accompany the rise of the AGER and strengthen the capacity of its team
During the realization of this study, ICEA was also mobilized by the Ministry of Infrastructure in charge of electricity to support the clarification of the role of the various actors of the sector and the definition of a capacity building program to its teams.