Four major international energy companies jointly with the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) have joined forces to explore an electrical interconnection among Suriname, Guyana, French Guiana, and the northern Brazilian states of Amapá (capital Macapá) and Roraima (capital Boa Vista).
As part of the memorandum of understanding signed for the Northern Arc Project, pre-feasibility studies will be planned to identify and evaluate electricity demand and power supply options. In addition, the studies will assess the political, institutional, regulatory, technical, economic, environmental and social implications of a potential electrical interconnection of the Northern Arc countries.
The partners, N.V. Energiebedrijven Suriname, Guyana Energy Agency, Électricité de France (EDF), Centrais Elétricas Brasileiras S.A. (Eletrobras), the AFD, and the IDB will obtain recommendations from the studies on the best alternatives to satisfy the electricity needs of the region along with a plan detailing critical action areas for the short, medium and long-term development of the project.
The Northern Arc Project has the potential to improve the quality of life of people living in the Northern Arc area. Electricity supply systems are isolated from each other and have difficulty providing clean and reliable energy at competitive prices. Infrastructure development in the context of this project would contribute to the sustainable integration of the Northern Arc countries and provide the basis for increasing economic growth and the social well-being of the region.
Furthermore, the project would increase the countries' energy security and the reliability of the electricity supply.
The Northern Arc Project is framed within the IDB's Latin America and the Caribbean Sustainable Energy for All initiative (LAC SE4ALL). The objective of the LAC SE4ALL initiative, which is coordinated with the U.N. SE4ALL global initiative, is to end energy poverty in the Latin American and the Caribbean Region, by providing universal access to modern energy, expanding renewable energy generation and implementing energy efficiency measures.
During the Rio+20 meetings in June 2012, the energy/electricity utilities companies of the Northern Arc countries that were present acknowledged the Northern Arc Project as an important contribution to the LAC SE4ALL initiative.