Standard Chartered PE acquires stake in energy firm in Zambia

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Standard Chartered PE acquires stake in energy firm in Zambia

The private equity arm of Standard Chartered acquired a stake in Copperbelt Energy Corporation (CEC) the company that distributes power to mines operating on the Copperbelt, a mineral-rich region in Zambia.

The investment is the first of its kind for Standard Chartered's Private Equity Africa unit. It gives Standard Chartered PE a 25.8% of the Lusaka-listed power supplier by acquiring a stake in parent company Zambian Energy Corporation. The total cost of the stake was US$57 million.

CEC develops, owns and operates power infrastructure, and accounts for about 50% of power consumed in Zambia. It operates around 900 kilometres of 220KV and 66KV transmission lines, an interconnector between Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo, 42 major substations and 80MW of gas turbine generation.

One of the major schemes the company is working on is the US$200 million Kabompo Gorge hyrdro-electric project in North Western Province of Zambia which involves the construction of a dam that is 47.5m high and 123m long, a reservoir with an area of 3,485 hectares, an underground chamber for the power house and four kilometres of tunnels.

Copperbelt Energy Corporation has also recently acquired stakes in a power company and power plant in Nigeria. Michael Tarney, CEC's Managing Director of Corporate Development, stated regarding the acquistion in Nigeria:

"We are the preferred bidder for the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company which covers the Federal Capital of Abuja as well as Niger, Kogi and Nasarawa States in Central Nigeria. We will acquire 60 percent of the distribution company in accordance with a Sale and Purchase Agreement that was signed in Abuja on 21st February 2013, with the Government retaining a 40 percent share.  The project is being undertaken as a Joint Venture with XerXes, a Nigerian investment company."

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