Ivory Coast: 174 million euros to develop a hydroelectric project

The project of the future Singrobo dam in Ivory Coast. © DR / Eiffage

The Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) announced Thursday the financial close of a bridge loan contracted by Ivory Hydro Energy (IHE) for the development of a 44 MW hydropower project in Singrobo-Ahouaty on the Bandama River 140 km north of Abidjan and associated infrastructure.

The AFC’s commitment to IHE amounts to a total of 174 million euros, including a majority equity investment of 24.4 million euros and a bridge loan of 149.6 million euros. euros, indicates the financial institution for infrastructure development, stating that the first installment of the bridge loan took place in December 2018.

For the Singrobo-Ahouaty Hydropower Project (SAHP), the AFC announces that it has adopted an innovative financing strategy. « This involved using a bridge loan to shorten the project cycle and start construction. The funding structure of the SAHP has been designed to shorten the development phase of projects of this type from about 10 to less than 5 years, « she said in a statement.

« This approach should accelerate the process of developing projects in Africa and allow more projects in the energy field to emerge. The AFC has put in place the bridge loan to begin construction until long-term lenders guarantee the final credits. The African Development Bank (AfDB) is organizing long-term credit financing, which has already been approved for the most part, « adds the pan-African organization which began its collaboration with SAHP since 2015 as a financial contributor and co-developer.

Unleashing Africa’s « economic potential »

« The Singrobo-Ahouaty Hydropower Project is an example of the AFC’s goal of supporting Africa in unlocking its economic potential while achieving attractive returns for our shareholders, » said the CEO of the company. AFC, Samaila Zubairu.

« As the first equity investment in an independent power producer and our first equity investment in the energy sector in a French-speaking country, the SAHP is an optimal step in diversifying the energy portfolio of the AFC, for develop our turnover and extend our reach to all of Francophone Africa, « he added.

It should be noted that the project will have to increase the overall energy capacity of Côte d’Ivoire, which currently produces 2,200 MW of electricity, making it one of the leaders in electricity generation in West Africa with around 70 % of heat production, the remaining electricity for renewable energies, mainly hydroelectric. In 2018, a total of € 110 million was awarded to Eiffage, a French contractor selected following an international call for tenders.

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