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PIDG company, Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund, lending EUR25 million to Côte d’Ivoire clean energy hydro-electricity project

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Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG)

The Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (EAIF), a Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG) (www.PIDG.org) company, is lending €25 million over 18 years to Ivoire Hydro Energy (IHE) which will build a 44MW hydro electricity generation plant on the Bandama River near the village of Singrobo in Côte d’Ivoire. Financial close is expected in late Q3 2021. The  €174 million project is forecast to take some 36 months to build.

Paromita Chatterjee, an Investment Director at EAIF’s managers, Ninety One, says;

“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; mobilising private capital, enabling economic development and contributing to increasing Africa’s stock of renewable energy  infrastructure.”

A long-term power purchase agreement will see all of the energy produced by the Singrobo plant sold to Compagnie Ivoirienne d’Electricité, the operator of Côte d’Ivoire’s national grid. The new plant will be an important strategic economic asset for Côte d’Ivoire. In addition to adding to the country’s generation capacity, the plant enhances the system’s flexibility, meaning it may be called in to meet baseload demand as well as peak demand.

The African Development Bank (AfDB) acted as the mandated lead arranger of the debt finance and will be a senior lender in its own right. In addition to AfDB and EAIF, the other lenders are the German international development agency, DEG and the Africa Finance Corporation (AFC). 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 finalising the project’s development and the financing agreements.

Electrification rates in Côte d’Ivoire range from c88% in urban areas to as low as 31% in rural parts of the country. Côte d’Ivoire’s economy has been growing and diversifying since the return of political stability in 2011. It has the largest and most diversified economy in the West African Economic and Monetary Union, representing c30% of the monetary union’s total GDP.

Technical information

The Project site is located on the Bandama River, 23 km downstream of the existing Taabo Dam and upstream of the confluence of the Nzi River. It is 3.5 km from the Singrobo village in the province of Taabo and some 148 km by road from Côte d’Ivoire’s  capital city, Abidjan.

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 centre, a spillway, water intake structure and bottom outlet
  • A reservoir with an area of maximum 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
  • Camp site facilities comprising construction facilities and a permanent O&M camp site
  • A 4km 90 kV transmission line and substation to connect to the hydropower plant to the existing Taabo-Agboville transmission line

Advisers

International Legal Counsel

Norton Rose Fulbright LLP

Local Legal Counsel

Bilé-Aka, Brizoua-Bi & Associés

Lenders Technical Advisor “LTA”

Royal HaskoningDHV

Lenders advisor for construction monitoring

MottMcDonald

E&S Advisor

Royal HaskoningDHV, ERM

Model Audit and Tax advisor

Mazars LLP

Insurance Advisor / Broker

INDECS Consulting / Platinum (local insurance broker)

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG).

For further information contact:
EAIF Martin Roche
martinroche55@gmail.com
+44 (0)771 574 9621

PIDG Cecilie Sorhus
 Cecilie.Sorhus@pidg.org
+44 (0)7917 302724

Ninety One
Kotie Basson
kotie.basson@investecmail.com
+27 21 416 1812

About EAIF:
The Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (www.EAIF.com) provides a variety of debt products to infrastructure projects promoted mainly by private sector businesses in Africa and parts of the Levant. The Fund helps create the infrastructure framework that is essential to sustained economic stability, business confidence, job creation and poverty reduction.  It has to date supported over 80 completed infrastructure projects across nine sectors in over 20 African countries. EAIF is part of PIDG. EAIF was established and substantially funded by the governments of the United Kingdom, The Netherlands, Switzerland, and Sweden. It raises its debt capital from public and private sources, including Allianz, the global insurance and financial services company; Standard Chartered Bank; the African Development Bank; the German development finance institution, KFW,and FMO, the Dutch development bank. EAIF is managed by Ninety One.

About PIDG:
The Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG) (www.PIDG.org) is an innovative infrastructure project developer and investor which mobilises private investment in sustainable and inclusive infrastructure in sub-Saharan Africa and south and south-east Asia. PIDG investments promote socio-economic development within a just transition to net zero emissions, combat poverty and contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). PIDG delivers its ambition in line with its values of opportunity, accountability, safety, integrity and impact. Since 2002, PIDG has supported 171 infrastructure projects to financial close which provided an estimated 217 million people with access to new or improved infrastructure. PIDG is funded by the governments of the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Australia, Sweden, Germany and the IFC. PIDG TA can provide technical assistance and capital grants to the PIDG companies to meet a range of needs associated with an infrastructure project’s life-cycle. PIDG TA can also provide up-front viability gap funding grants to support PIDG projects that require concessional funding to make a project with strong development impact financeable. 

About Ninety One:
Ninety One (www.NinetyOne.com) is one of the largest third party investors in private equity, credit, public equity and sovereign debt across the African continent. The Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (EAIF) is managed by and fully integrated into Ninety One’s African investment platform. Ninety One manages the entire process on behalf of the EAIF. It markets the Fund, seeks projects, evaluates loan applications, including due diligence, manages transaction administration and monitors the loan portfolio. Since May 2016, when it was awarded the management mandate, Ninety One and its EAIF team have closed over 20 infrastructure transactions with a capital value of USD 650m.  The team also led EAIF’s last round of fundraising, raising US$385 million, including US$100 million from Allianz Global Investors and US$50 million from Standard Chartered, a long-standing lender to EAIF.

Ninety One is  an independent, active global asset manager listed on the London and Johannesburg stock exchanges. Established in South Africa in 1991, as Investec Asset Management, the firm was a pioneer in emerging markets in Africa. In 2020, almost three decades of organic growth later, the firm de-merged from Investec Group and became Ninety One. Today, Ninety One offers distinctive, active strategies across equities, fixed income, multi-asset and alternative investments to institutions, advisors and individual investors around the world.

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