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Photo of President Macky Sall of Senegal at the opening of the GAP financed solar power facility at Bokhol in Northern Senegal

Loan for first solar power plant will boost Senegal’s economy

London, 22 October 2016

Dakar – A solar power plant build which had stalled is now operational due to support from Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG) company Green Africa Power.

The plant is the first of its kind in Senegal, where 45 per cent of people have no access to power. It takes electricity from renewable energy to an estimated 160,000 people in one of the world’s lowest income countries.

The €20m loan from PIDG‘s finance company Green Africa Power (GAP) means the 20 megawatt photovoltaic solar power plant in Bokhol, Dagana department, is now producing electricity.

Republic of Senegal President Macky Sall, who opened Senergy 2 during an inauguration ceremony yesterday, welcomed the power plant and cited the low electricity costs for people in the country which it will bring. Senergy 2 is supplying clean energy to the people of Senegal at 50 per cent below the cost per kilowatt hour of the existing energy mix.

UK Ambassador to Senegal George Hodgson, who took part in the inauguration ceremony, said: ‘The solar power plant has been made possible thanks to innovative public-private financing. With substantial funding from the United Kingdom and Norway, the project is now becoming a reality and demonstrates the willingness of Britain to invest more in the development of Senegal.’

As the sole debt provider at this stage, GAP will reduce financial risk by allowing time for long term senior debt to be put in place.

Senergy 2 will create an estimated 150 jobs during construction and 25 local jobs once the plant is operational, as well as reduce the country’s CO2 emissions by 22,320 tonnes per year.

GAP executive director Peter Hutchinson said: ‘This is a red letter day for GAP and Senegal; 45 per cent of the country’s people have no access to power and this is holding back economic development. Senergy 2 will make an important contribution to the national grid.’

Lender GAP is funded by the UK’s Department for International Development, the UK Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy and the Norway Ministry of Foreign Affairs. GAP’s mission is to promote the development of private sector owned renewable power generation in sub-Saharan Africa. GAP is supported by investment adviser EISER Infrastructure Partners LLP (EISER) alongside Camco Clean Energy.

Senergy 2’s lead developer and sponsor GreenWish Partners is an investment company which specialises in renewable energy generation projects in sub-Saharan Africa.

GreenWish President Charlotte Aubin Kalaidjian said: ‘GAP and GreenWish’s focus is to encourage affordable renewable energy projects throughout sub-Saharan Africa. The electricity generated by Senergy 2 will be both environmentally friendly and competitive, with a cost per kilowatt-hour 50 per cent below the current cost of the energy mix.’

EISER Partner Vivian Nicoli said: ‘Capacity improvements are needed urgently in Senegal, but high up-front costs can make financing renewable projects difficult due to a lack of willing long-term capital. By providing a construction finance loan, GAP can act to alleviate this impasse. Once the sponsor has been able to secure senior debt financing, GAP’s funds can be released and re-invested in other much-needed infrastructure across sub-Saharan Africa.’

About Senergy 2

Due to be completed in Q4 2016, Senergy 2 is expected to be Senegal’s first operational IPP solar power plant.

The project is predicted to provide 159,817 people with a better supply of renewable electricity through the national grid, via a nearby substation which is already in operation.

The power generated at the site will be sold to the national electricity company of Senegal (Senelec) through a Power Purchase Agreement. The project will contribute 20MW to Senegal’s current installed power generation capacity of 860 MW.

The opening of the GAP financed solar power facility at Bokhol in Northern Senegal

The opening of the GAP financed solar power facility at Bokhol in Northern Senegal

Photos: Thousands of local people come to celebrate the opening by President Macky Sall of Senegal of the 20 MW GAP financed solar power facility at Bokhol in Northern Senegal.

Green Africa Power is funded by:

UK Aid and the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Notes to editors

For interviews with PIDG’s chief executive officer Philippe Valahu or GAP’s executive director Peter Hutchinson call senior communications manager Rebecca Goding on +44 (0)20 3058 3182 or email here.

1. GAP’s aim is to stimulate private investment in renewable energy power generation projects in developing countries in sub-Saharan Africa, to reduce reliance on fossil fuels through diversification into renewable energy. Founded in 2013, the specialised finance facility can invest intermediate capital (quasi-equity/mezzanine finance) in renewable energy projects. GAP is designed to stimulate the private sector appetite for investments in ‘greenfield’ infrastructure. A member of the Private Infrastructure Development Group, GAP is funded by the UK Department for International Development, the UK Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy and the Norway Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

2. The Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG) encourages and mobilises private investment in infrastructure in the frontier markets of sub-Saharan Africa, south and south-east Asia, to help promote economic development and combat poverty. Since 2002, PIDG has supported 133 infrastructure projects to financial close, of which 56 are fully operational. PIDG is a multilateral organisation, funded by donors from seven countries (UK, Switzerland, Australia, Norway, Sweden, Netherlands, Germany) and the World Bank Group.

3. Green Africa Power is advised by EISER Infrastructure Partners LLP (EISER), in collaboration with Camco Clean Energy (Camco). EISER is an independent infrastructure fund manager that combines deep infrastructure experience with strong financial expertise. EISER invests in quality infrastructure assets in the energy (including renewables), transport and environmental sectors. EISER is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Camco Clean Energy is part of the REDT plc Group. Camco has over 25 years on-the-ground experience developing and financing with renewable energy projects, development and policies in sub-Saharan Africa. Camco Management Limited is an Authorised Representative of Mirabella Partners LLP, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

4. GreenWish Partners was founded in 2010 by Charlotte Aubin Kalaidjian and joined by Gilles Parmentier in 2014 to build a renewable energy investment platform dedicated to sub-Saharan Africa. GreenWish looks to develop a 600MW portfolio of competitive renewable energy on grid and off grid solutions for national utilities, commercial and industrial off takers in multiple countries throughout sub-Saharan Africa.

5. The Department for International Development (DFID) leads the UK’s work to end extreme poverty, building a safer, healthier, more prosperous world for all of us which is firmly in the UK’s national interest. We’re ending the need for aid by creating jobs, unlocking the potential of girls and women and helping to save lives when humanitarian emergencies hit.

Further information

For Green Africa Power:

Rebecca Goding
Senior Communications Manager, PIDG
Direct Dial: +44 (0)20 3058 3182
Mobile: +44 (0)77 3974 9022
Email here

Peter Hutchinson
Executive Director, Green Africa Power
Direct Dial: +44 (0) 20 7808 7026
Mobile: +44 (0) 79 4006 1436
Email here

For EISER Infrastructure Partners:

Partner, Vivian Nicoli
Direct Dial: +44 (0)20 7323 7504
Mobile: +44 (0)77 3813 3028
Email here

For GreenWish Partners:

Communication agency 35°Nord
Nicolas Teisserenc
Phone: +33 618096690
Email here

For Department for International Development:

Media Team
Phone: 020 7023 0600
Email here