Independent power producer Globeleq and IPS (West Africa), a company owned by the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development, announced that their subsidiary, Azito Energie SA has reached financial close on its 253MW expansion of the existing Azito gas-fired power plant near Abidjan.
The existing power plant currently generates 460MW and plays an important part in the sector. The Phase IV expansion, combined with the finalisation of the technical MXL2 upgrade (which added 30MW to the plant’s existing capacity during 2019), will see Azito supplying around 713MW, or approximately 30% of Côte d’Ivoire’s installed capacity.
The implementation of the latest combined cycle gas turbine technology in the plant will allow the deployment and monetisation of Côte d’Ivoire’s domestic gas reserves in the most efficient and environmentally effective and sustainable way.
The 253MW expansion project is financed on a limited recourse basis with a debt financing package of €264 million provided by the International Finance Corporation, the African Development Bank; the West African Development Bank; the OPEC Fund for International Development and a pool of European Development Finance Institutions including the Société de Promotion et de Participation Pour la Coopération Economique, the Belgian Investment Company for Developing Countries, the German Investment Corporation, the Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund – an Africa-focused debt fund managed by Investec Asset Management, and the Netherlands Development Finance Company.
Globeleq’s CEO, Mike Scholey, commented: “Achieving financial close for the expansion of the Azito power plant is exciting and significant for the sector and demonstrates Globeleq’s long-term view and partnership approach with governments. The Azito Phase IV tariff will be the lowest cost thermal power in Côte d’Ivoire and we look forward to providing the region with reliable, cost-effective environmentally sustainable energy in cooperation with CI-Energies and the State of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire.”
Mahamadou Sylla, CEO of IPS (West Africa), added: “The Azito Power plant Phase IV expansion is a testimony of the renewed trust given to IPS(WA) by the State of the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire and the lenders, where the aggregate contribution is now close to USD750 million. It allows IPS(WA) to underpin its role as a contributor in the development of Côte d’Ivoire and in the sub-region.”
Construction has already started with first power expected in 2020. All electricity will be sold to the State of Côte d’Ivoire under a 20-year concession agreement.