Burkina Faso, a West African country, will acquire a new large-scale renewable energy plant, it was announced today, 15e March. Located some 250 km southeast of the country’s capital, Ouagadougou, near the town of Pâ, the new solar power plant will supply all the electricity it produces to Burkina Faso’s national electricity company, La Société Burkina Faso National Electricity Authority (SONABEL).
The Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (EAIF), a member of the Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG), is lending the project developer, Urbasolar SAS, 80% of the capital required for the construction of the new 30 MW facility. The EAIF is the only lender of the project, providing 29 million euros of the 35.4 million euros of estimated development costs. Financial close (the transfer of funds from lender to borrower) is scheduled for the second quarter of the year.
Paromita Chatterjee, director of investments at EAIF managers, Ninety One, says;
“Harnessing the Burkina Faso sun to improve its future prospects will bring many benefits to the country and will make an important contribution to the fight against global warming. This project is a perfect example of how EAIF’s public-private partnership model can have sustainable economic, social and environmental impacts while mobilizing private and business capital to create new infrastructure.
EAIF has now supported 20 renewable energy projects across Africa. It has invested $ 350 million in loans to private sector developers, bringing 825 MW of clean, renewable energy to Africa.
Commenting on the project, Arnaud Mine, President of Urbasolar and Emmanuel Kaboré, Regional Director of Urbasolar – West Africa, said;
“As a European expert in solar energy, the Urbasolar group is aware of its role in the development of this source of energy in Africa, particularly in Burkina Faso, where we already operate. It is Urbasolar’s belief that the solar energy sector offers solutions to many economic, environmental and social problems. Therefore, in addition to providing green energy, this project also includes a number of other measures such as education in solar technology, granting of scholarships and a microfinance program for women. communities, as well as support for the health system.
“This project is the fruit of the will of the President of Burkina Faso, Rock Marc Christian KABORE, and of the government to increase the country’s energy supply by promoting private investment through public-private partnership. We are pleased to be able to work alongside the government and the national energy company, SONABEL, to achieve the goal of producing 200 MW of energy through solar power plants by 2021, a strategy established by Dr Bachir Ismael OUEDRAOGO, Minister of Energy, Mines and Quarries.
“EAIF’s experience in the renewable energy sector in Africa is a huge asset for developers like Urbasolar. We are happy to share our own values of sustainable development and to collaborate with EAIF on this project, which demonstrates our common goal of long-term infrastructure development in rapidly developing regions.
Burkina Faso has a population of nearly 20 million people. More than 40% of people live below the poverty line. The country has one of the lowest electrification rates in the world. Due to a shortage of installed power generation capacity, Burkina Faso has to import electricity from neighboring states. Urbanization, structural changes in the economy and recent strong GDP growth have increased demand for energy. Currently relying mainly on fossil-fueled power plants, the country has embarked on a program to attract private capital and skills to build the capacity of renewable energy. The Urbasolar project is one of the first of the new green energy plants. About 280 MW are expected to be commissioned over the next three years.
Urbasolar was selected as a developer following a call for tenders launched by SONABEL. Urbasolar will build and operate the plant and construction is expected to be completed within 18 months.
Founded in France in 2006, Urbasolar has installed more than 650 photovoltaic power plants and currently operates solar power plants of more than 900 MW. Urbasolar represents 20% of the project capital. He is the majority shareholder of the Pâ plant. A minority stake is held by Project Production Solaire (PPS). Created in 2010 as a company specializing in renewable energies and energy efficiency by a group of Burkinabé engineers, PPS is present in Burkina Faso as well as in Togo, Ivory Coast and Benin.
In July 2019, Urbasolar was acquired by AXPO, a Swiss utility and the largest producer of renewable energy in Switzerland.
Ground-mounted photovoltaic power plant with a total peak power of 29,967.84 KWp. The PV modules are installed on fixed structures with an inclination of 15 ° and oriented South. The project includes string inverters and monocrystalline modules. The plant will be connected to the grid via a 2 km cable to a nearby substation.
|International legal adviser||:||Clifford Chance Europe LLP|
|Local legal advisor||:||SCP Yanogo Bobson|
|LTA technical advisor||:||3E Renewable Energy Services (Pty) Ltd|
|Lender advisor for construction monitoring||:||3E Renewable Energy Services (Pty) Ltd|
|Lender insurance advisor||:||INDECS Consulting Ltd|
|E&S Advisor||:||Antea Group, France|