29 July 2013 – The African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved a senior loan of up to €50 million to finance the Ciprel power expansion project in Côte d’Ivoire to increase the existing plant capacity by 222 MW.
Electricity demand in Côte d’Ivoire increased at an average rate of 6% a year from 2003 to 2012 while net electricity production grew at only 2% a year over the same period. Energy demand is expected to remain high in Côte d’Ivoire over the medium- to long-term, and the energy shortage is expected to widen if generation capacity is not adequately expanded. While the country’s economy is still in the recovery stage, following the recent crisis, the provision of financing to boost affordable power is crucial.
The AfDB played a key role in reaching financial closure on the Ciprel power expansion project through the provision of long tenor financing, which is hardly available on the market. Thanks to this the existing power plant will be expanded to include an additional 111 MW gas turbine, as well as a combined cycle turbine for an additional 111 MW of generation through the installation of a steam turbine and two heat recovery boilers connected to a previously built gas turbine (commissioned in 2009).
The AfDB and other lenders were also instrumental in convincing the sponsors to use more rigorous environmental and social management standards including the dry low-NOx green technology to reduce the NOx emissions. This fourth expansion will increase the gross plant capacity by 69% to 543 MW.
Ciprel is a privately owned electricity production company in Côte d’Ivoire. It operates five gas turbines under a concession agreement signed in 1994 with the government of Côte d’Ivoire and amended for the sixth time in December 2011 to allow the implementation of the fourth expansion. Ciprel started operating in 1995.