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MIGA backing for Azito expansion

29 January 2013 – The Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), the political risk insurance arm of the World Bank, is providing an investment guarantee backing the on-going operations and expansion of a power plant that will boost Cí´te d’Ivoire’s economic recovery.

The project involves the conversion of the existing Azito thermal power plant from simple-cycle to combined-cycle, bringing the plant’s total capacity to about 430 MW. The expanded plant will produce more electricity without additional use of gas, resulting in 225,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions avoidance a year. Upon completion, the Azito facility will become the largest independent power generator in sub-Saharan Africa. The project was recently named “African Power Deal of the Year” by Project Finance International.

MIGA’s investment guarantee is covering the Globeleq Holdings (Azito) investment for up to 20 years against breach of contract by the government of Cí´te d’Ivoire. The project was financed on a limited recourse basis. The International Finance Corporation was the lead arranger with Proparco coordinating the pool of financing from European development finance institutions. The West African Development Bank (BOAD) is providing financing in local currency.

“MIGA’s guarantee was a key factor in proceeding with the expansion of Azito,” Globeleq’s CEO, Mikael Karlsson, says. “MIGA’s support and participation of the development finance institutions allowed us to increase our investment. The additional generation will provide much needed energy and make a positive impact on peoples’ lives in Cí´te d’Ivoire.”

“This project, which will deliver much needed additional power at a relatively low cost, is essential to Cí´te d’Ivoire’s recovery,” Michel Wormser, MIGA’s vice president and chief operating officer, says. “Our support demonstrates MIGA’s commitment to mobilising investment in countries recovering from conflict and is a strong demonstration of the role that the private sector can play in delivering infrastructure.”