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Issue 358 - 23 November 2017

Mambilla test for Nigeria financing


After decades of false starts, Nigeria has secured Chinese financing for the 3,050MW Mambilla hydroelectric power dam on the Donga River, which the authorities hope can start commercial operations in 2024-25. The latest contract was signed on 10 November by China Gezhouba Group Company, Sinohydro Corporation and CGCOC Group to build the $5.793m scheme, 85%-financed by the Export-Import Bank of China.

Issue 332 - 18 October 2016

Uganda: FMO financing for Tororo solar


Netherlands development agency FMO has arranged a $14.7m senior loan for the financing of the 10MW Tororo solar photovoltaic project. The plant will be developed and owned by Italy’s Building Energy. FMO acted as mandated lead arranger of the facility, half of which was syndicated to the Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund. The project is being developed under the KfW-led Global Energy Transfer Feed-in Tariffs (GET FiT) facility. FMO is also financing a similar scheme at Soroti, which began construction in March.


In another twist in the long-running saga of the 6GW Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (Gerd) and controversy over water use in the Nile Basin, there are reports from Israel that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is set to mediate between Egypt and Ethiopia over the issue. Israeli online news site Mida reported on 19 July that a decision on Israeli involvement followed a flurry of recent diplomatic activity, including a visit to Tel Aviv by Egyptian foreign minister Sameh Shukri, which came soon after Netanyahu returned from a tour of Africa. The previous negotiator was former Palestinian Fatah leader Mohammed Dahlan.

Egypt | Ethiopia

There was little surprise when SunEdison filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on 21 April, given the scale of its fall from grace – from nearly $10bn market capitalisation in mid-2015 to a 99% share price collapse and emergency asset sales less than one year later. The US developer’s crisis poses questions about the future of its substantial portfolio – which includes five projects with combined 371MW capacity in South Africa, awarded in the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement (REIPPP) programme’s expanded fourth round – and the health of the wider solar industry.


The World Bank board on 11 January approved financing of $27m for a project to increase access to electricity and encourage the use of renewable power technologies. The financing comprises a $25m grant from the Strategic Climate Fund’s Scaling Up Renewable Energy Programme and a $2m loan from the International Development Agency. The project will see $22m spent on constructing a mini-grid in Lofa County, one of the areas worst hit by the Ebola crisis and which is located more than 200km from the national grid. This is intended to provide affordable, year-round electricity supply to around 50,000 people.


The Ministry of Energy and Water has given a consortium led by China Gezhouba Group Corporation (CGGC) an engineering, procurement and construction contract to build the 2,171MW Caculo Cabaça hydropower project, the Chinese construction and engineering company announced on 11 June. The contract, valued at $4.53bn, will include civil works as well as the supply, installation and commissioning of hydromechanical and electromechanical equipment, it said. Work is to be completed within 80 months. CGGC said the government would need to make a loan application to Chinese banks to arrange financing for the project.


South Africa’s BioTherm Energy has signed an agreement to sell 60% in three solar and wind plants to New York Stock Exchange-listed SunEdison. The three operating plants were developed by BioTherm under the first round of the renewable energy independent power producer procurement (REIPPP) programme. They are the 26.19MW Dassiesklip wind project and the 9.65MW Konkoonsies and Aries solar projects developed by Aurora Power Solutions and BioTherm with funding from Denham Capital.

South Africa

The United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (Unido) has committed support to a Global Environment Facility (GEF)-funded project, costed at $6.5m, to help in building local capacities to manufacture solar energy systems and components. It will also promote the application of solar energy in Egyptian chemicals, agro-food and textile industries.


As Eskom’s problems mount, there is growing concern about the increasingly serious cost implications of connecting renewable energy (RE) power plants to the grid. Connecting projects which are widely geographically dispersed to the grid poses a sizeable challenge. It is starting to become clear that Eskom did not adequately account for the grid needs of RE projects in its transmission plans, and that the cost of evacuating power from RE schemes has not so far been factored into the bid process, particularly given that, in South Africa, the arreas with the highest solar isolation have the weakest grids.

South Africa

Canadian renewable power developer Windiga Energy has signed an investment support agreement with the government of Burkina Faso for a 20MW solar photovoltaic power plant. Commercial operation is expected by the end of next year, with the equity portion of the project likely to close in the coming months – it will be 95% owned by Windiga and 5% by the government for the 25-year amortisation period before being transferred wholly to the government – while debt financing should be completed around November with the African Development Bank, the Global Environment Facility and the Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund.

Burkina Faso
Issue 281 - 12 July 2014

PIDG fund appoints advisers


The Private Infrastructure Development Group’s (PIDG) £98m ($168m) Green Africa Power (Gap) renewable energy facility has signed a five-year contract with the possibility of two one-year extensions with London-based EISER Infrastructure Partners to provide fund management advice and related services. EISER has brought on board clean energy developer Camco Energy. The pair will identify, execute and manage projects eligible to be funded by Gap as well as ensuring that the developmental and climate change objectives of the fund are met.


State utility Regie de Distribution et de Production de l’Eau et de l’Electricité has applied to the European Investment Bank (EIB) for financing for two run-of-river hydropower plants with a combined installed capacity of 48MW in the south of the country. The EIB said on 4 June that it was considering a loan of about €70m for construction of the 31.5MW Jiji and 16.5MW Mulembwe plants as well as an 80km 110kV transmission line to Bujumbura, to deliver power to the national grid.


The European Investment Bank (EIB) and African Development Bank (AfDB) have signed loan agreements totalling about $120m for the 120MW Itezhi-Tezhi hydro plant and transmission line project on the Kafue River. The AfDB’s loan of $55m was approved by the Bank board in June and signed on 19 December, while the EIB has agreed to provide €50m ($67m).

Issue 237 - 10 August 2012

Cameroon: Lom Pangar funding secured


Economy minister Emmanuel Nganou Djoumessi signed loan agreements on 31 July for a total of CFA105bn ($194m) from the World Bank and Agence Française de Développement (AFD) for the $494m Lom Pangar dam development


The governments of Mozambique and South Korea have signed an agreement for a $35m soft loan to finance the construction of three solar power stations in the Muembe, Mecula and Mavago districts in the northern province of Niassa.