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EAIF to drive Côte d’Ivoire’s hydro project with €25M loan

EAIF - cleanbuild

The Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (EAIF), a company in the Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG), is lending €25 million over 18 years to Ivoire Hydro Energy (IHE).

The new funds will be used to build a 44MW hydro electricity generation plant on the Bandama River close to Singrobo, a village in Côte d’Ivoire.

With the financial close expected in late Q3 2021, the €174 million project will take some 36 months to build.

According to Paromita Chatterjee, an Investment Director at EAIF’s managers, Ninety One, the new facility being built at Singrobo is the country’s first hydroelectric development by an independent power producer.

“The project has seen EAIF and PIDG deliver on three core objectives; mobilizing private capital, enabling economic development, and contributing to increasing Africa’s stock of renewable energy infrastructure”, she said.

A long-term power purchase agreement between the parties will ensure that all the energy produced by the Singrobo plant is sold to Compagnie Ivoirienne d’Electricité, the operator of Côte d’Ivoire’s national grid.

When constructed, the new plant will represent an important strategic economic asset for Côte d’Ivoire. Aside from increasing the country’s generation capacity, the plant will enhance the system’s flexibility, enabling it to meet baseload and peak demand.

Currently, electrification rates in Côte d’Ivoire range from c88% in urban areas to as low as 31% in rural parts of the country. In recent times, the country’s economy is witnessing growth and diversification due to political stability.

So far, Côte d’Ivoire has the largest and most diversified economy in the West African Economic and Monetary Union, representing c30% of the monetary union’s total GDP.

In addition to the EAIF, the African Development Bank, the mandated lead arranger of the debt finance, will be a senior lender. Other lenders include the German international development agency, DEG, and the Africa Finance Corporation (AFC).

Around 25% of the project cost is funded by equity from the project’s shareholders, IHE Holding, the Africa Finance Corporation, and DIPFA, a Denham Capital-owned international investment platform for power projects.

Neo Themis SARL is advising and acting for the shareholders in relation to finalizing the project’s development and the financing agreements.

Details of the Singrobo plant main infrastructure
  • A rockfill dam on the right bank of approx. 27m height and 1,025m length
  • On the left bank, a concrete dam of approximately 27m high and 150m long
  • At the center, a spillway, water intake structure, and bottom outlet
  • A reservoir with an area of a maximum of 19.6 km2 and a volume of approximately 105 hm3
  • Two penstocks with a diameter of 5m
  • A power-house with two horizontal 22 MW Kaplan turbines supplied by GE/ Alstom
  • A 1.3 km long and 35 m wide tailrace channel
    3 km of access roads
  • Campsite facilities comprising construction facilities and a permanent O&M campsite
  • A 4km 90 kV transmission line and substation to connect to the hydropower plant to the existing Taabo-Agboville transmission line.

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