IFC, Others Underwrite Cote d’Ivoire Azito Power Expansion
Chibisi Ohakah, Abuja
…Pledges to back Cote d’Ivoire renewable energy capacity development
A consortium of the International Finance Corporation [IFC], Globeleq Africa Holdings Limited (Globeleq), a leading independent power producer in Africa, and Industrial Promotion Services (West Africa) (IPS (WA), have committed to providing finance for the expansion of the Azito thermal power plant (Azito Phase 4) in Côte d’Ivoire.
Azito Phase 4 will enable the West African country to meet its national target of 42% renewables by 2030 by supporting grid stability and helping integrate intermittent renewables to complement the country’s hydropower base (900 MW, or about 40% of total installed capacity), IFC said yesterday in a report. It said that the IFC had in a recent different report highlighted Cote d’Ivoire’s potential for renewable.
The plant’s expansion will help increase the supply of reliable, affordable power in Côte d’Ivoire, where, as of 2017, less than 66% of the population had access to electricity, the IFC said yesterday. Also the expansion is expected to increase access to electricity for hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses.
IFC said that as lead arranger and global coordinator, it arranged the full debt financing package of EUR 264 million, provided by the African Development Bank (AfDB); the West African Development Bank (BOAD); OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID); a pool of European Development Finance Institutions (EDFIS), including PROPARCO, the Belgian Investment Company for Developing Countries (BIO), the German Investment Corporation (DEG); and the Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (EAIF) – an Africa-focused debt fund managed by Investec Asset Management and the Netherlands Development Finance Company (FMO).
The IFC said, along with mobilizing the debt, it is providing, as part of the debt package, a EUR 46 million loan to Azito for its own account, as well as interest rate swaps for the Euro-denominated debt.
Over the past two decades, IFC, alongside the World Bank, has supported the government of Côte d’Ivoire in placing the country’s power sector on a financially sustainable path. The new round of financing follows prior IFC investments in the country’s power sector in 1994, 1998, 2012 and 2013.