Port-au-Prince, Haiti --- (METERING.COM) --- September 15, 2009 - A US$5 million grant has been approved by the World Bank to support improvements in the quality of electricity services in Haiti and to strengthen the financial and operational performance of the country’s public electricity utility, Electricité d’Haïti (EDH).

The financing will further support the objectives of the Electricity Loss Reduction Project, which was originally supported by a US$6 million World Bank grant approved in August 2006, with the aim to lay the foundation for improving electricity services and enhancing revenue collection in urban centers.

The objectives of this additional financing are to improve the management of EDH by providing a two-year program of technical assistance, and to finance the cost overruns for the two customer systems and the remote meters, which were bid out in the second half of 2009, as well as to help strengthen the capacity of the ministry of public works to oversee the energy sector and to cover additional project management costs.

EDH is purchasing customer management and technical service management systems, in order to help improve billing and quality of service. The two systems will be implemented in a specific zone of Port-au-Prince and for EDH’s large customers, who also are being provided with remote meters. In addition remote meters are to be purchased for measurement of energy produced by independent power producers.

“This project will contribute to providing better and more reliable electricity services to Haitian communities,” said Eustache Ouayoro, World Bank country manager for Haiti. “In addition, it will finance a program of technical assistance to support the sustainability of the improvements.”

The performance of Haiti’s electricity sector is very weak, with one of the lowest access rates in the world (12.5 percent in 2005) and a financially fragile national utility, according to the World Bank’s project appraisal document.

In addition to the World Bank funding, EDH is contributing US$830,000 towards the project.