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The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, has finalised financing for the first two Scaling Solar projects in Senegal.

IN a statement the IFC confirmed this will allow construction to start on two solar plants that will provide 60 MWac of clean and low-cost power. The plants – sponsored by Engie, Meridiam, and Senegalese Sovereign Wealth Fund for Strategic Investments (FONSIS) – are expected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Senegal by 89,000 tonnes of C02 equivalent per year, the same as removing 17,000 cars from the road.

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The financing package for the two projects located in Kael and Kahone includes senior loans worth €38 million from IFC, the Finland-IFC Blended Finance for Climate Program, which helps spur private sector financing for climate change solutions in emerging markets, the European Investment Bank, and Proparco.

Scaling Solar is a World Bank Group program that offers competitive bidding and streamlined procurement for grid-tied solar photovoltaic power in emerging markets. The program is supporting the development of more than 1 gigawatt of solar power across Africa.

Senegal’s first Scaling Solar tender attracted significant international investor interest, receiving six bids for each project. The tenders resulted in tariffs of 3.80 and 3.98 Euro cents per kilowatt hour – one of the lowest prices for electricity in West Africa.

“Scaling Solar started in Zambia with the completion of the country’s first large-scale solar plant,” said Philippe Le Houérou, CEO of IFC. “The program is delivering tremendous results and continues to expand across Africa and into new regions. We are very pleased to see the two projects in Senegal reach financial close.”