Ivoire Hydro Energy (IHE) is pleased to announce the financial close of the Singrobo-Ahouaty Hydropower Project (SAHP) in Côte d’Ivoire with a bridge loan facility from Africa Finance Corporation, leading infrastructure development finance institution in Africa, for a total investment amount of EUR 190 million.
Located near the Singrobo-and Ahouaty villages on the Bandama river, the 44 MW Singrobo-Ahouaty hydroelectric plant is the first independent power project (IPP) of its kind to have reached financial close in West Africa. Financial close for the project, which was achieved in five years, comes following a EUR149.6 million bridge loan facility provided by Africa Finance Corporation, with the first disbursement payment received in December 2018.
Once completed, the project is expected to provide approximately 217 GWh of affordable, low carbon energy per year. With the Côte d’Ivoire energy mix currently consisting of 70% thermal generation, the project will make a significant contribution to the country’s transition to a low carbon economy. The incorporation of a competitive cost-reflective tariff structure is expected to have a positive impact on the cost of electricity in Côte d’Ivoire, delivering long-term value and affordability for energy consumers.
Samaila Zubairu, President & CEO of Africa Finance Corporation (AFC), commented: “The Singrobo Ahouaty hydropower project is an example of AFC’s objective of supporting Africa in unlocking its economic potential while also attaining attractive returns for our shareholders. As our first equity investment in a hydro Independent Power Producer and our first power sector equity investment in a Francophone country, the project is an optimal step in diversifying AFC’s power portfolio, building our balance sheet and expanding our reach across French-speaking Africa.”
Tas Anvaripour, CEO of Themis, indicated: ”Themis is proud to have contributed to the success of the SAHP, which is the first hydropower IPP to reach financial close in West Africa. Themis joined the original developers back in 2013 when the project was still in the feasibility stage. Complementary skills between the local sponsor, AFC and Themis was a project key success factor.”
Ekolan Alain Etty, the majority shareholder of IHE Holdings, said: “I am very pleased to see SAHP taking another stride towards development. Since I began working as an engineer in 1981, I have seen first-hand the opportunities electrification brings to a country. Today, however, it is not enough to have just power. We need a cost effective renewable and sustainable energy source so that development is inclusive and does not adversely affect the environment. The Singrobo-Ahouaty Hydropower Project achieves all of these objectives.”