GAP finances solar project in Senegal

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GAP finances solar project in Senegal

Intermediate capital and mezzanine finance facility Green Africa Power has agreed a €20 million (US$22.5) construction finance loan for Senergy 2 which will provide enough electricity for some 160,000 people from renewable sources.

Senergy 2 is a 20MW photovoltaic solar power plant in Bokhol, Dagana department, northern Senegal. Construction has already started on site and the plant is expected to be fully operational this year.

Lender Green Africa Power (GAP) is a member of the Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG) and funded by the UK 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 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.

Welcoming the deal, GAP Chair Jim Cohen said:

‘45% of people in Senegal have no access to power and this is holding back economic development. Once operational, Senergy 2 will make an important contribution to Senegal’s capacity for growth. GAP is actively looking for similar projects, which will bring more power to Senegal and other sub-Saharan countries in need of renewable energy. Senergy 2 shows the market what can be done.’

GreenWish President Charlotte Aubin Kalaidjian said:

‘GAP’s focus supports GreenWish’s own goal 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% below the current cost of the energy mix. GAP’s loan will mean construction can continue through to operation.’

EISER Partner, Vivian Nicoli said:

‘The Senergy 2 project is an important demonstration of GAP’s ability to enable viable investments in renewable energy projects in areas where the market would not otherwise support them. 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 construction has completed and the sponsor has been able to secure senior debt financing, GAP’s funds can be released and re-invested in other much-needed infrastructure projects across sub-Saharan Africa.’

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