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Côte d’Ivoire clean energy hydro-electricity project gets PIDG company, Emerging Africa Infrastructure’s  €25m Fund,

BY DAYO ADESULU

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 projects 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.

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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)

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