American Capital Energy & Infrastructure (ACEI) has plans to invest in Senegal's first industrial-scale wind power project and the largest wind farm planned in West Africa.
The project will help the country reduce its reliance on high-cost oil-fired power generation. The total capital cost of this facility is estimated at €305 million (US$346.8), with ACEI anticipating to provide an estimated €76 million (US$86.4 million) of equity and the remainder expected from senior and mezzanine lenders.
The project is a 151.8 MW wind farm under development, which will be located in Taiba Ndiaye in Senegal, approximately 75km northwest of Dakar. It is expected to be a significant component in the Senegalese government's plans to improve energy security by diversifying its energy mix and enhancing the use of renewable energy to meet the country's rapid energy demand.
Power from the project will be sold to Societe Nationale d'Electricite du Senegal (Senelec), the national utility company of Senegal, under a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA) signed in December 2013.
The project has been developed by Sarreole S.a.r.l., a French based team, and ACEI will work with Sarreole, funding development costs and project equity. Construction on the plant is scheduled over three years in three phases of 50.8MW. Chapin International & Co is acting as the project development and financial advisor for the project.
Mr. Paul Hanrahan, CEO and co-founder of ACEI, said,
"This project makes a lot of sense for Senegal - both from an economic as well as an environmental standpoint. Senegal's impressive economic growth requires more electric generating capacity to be built as its electrification rate is well above average for the Sub-Saharan region. In addition, the Senegalese Government has stated that it is committed to shifting from diesel-based power generation to lower-cost energy sources, such as wind power, to lower the cost of electricity, and has taken steps to further reform its electricity sector in a way that makes it an attractive place to invest. And because this is a priority project under President Macky Sall's Plan Emergent Senegal, dedicated to accelerating the country's economic growth, we are confident that the project will move ahead quickly."
Ms. Lisa Pinsley, ACEI Director of Africa investments, said,
"We are excited to announce our investment in this project. ACEI is a founding partner of Power Africa, a United States Government initiative launched by President Obama that is focused on supporting economic growth and development in Africa by increasing clean and reliable access to electrical power. Through the Power Africa initiative, we look forward to partnering with the Overseas Private Investment Corporation as lead lender and leveraging the diverse toolkit of the Power Africa initiative to support the Project, the utility and the Senegalese economy. ACEI has been actively pursuing investments in African power companies to originate, develop, finance and operate regional energy infrastructure assets in West Africa and we look forward to seeing this project coming to fruition."