General Electric and Standard Bank sign power deal

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Africa’s power development efforts have received a boost following a US$350 million power deal agreement between industrial and finance heavyweights General Electric (GE) and Standard Bank, which aims to provide affordable access to power infrastructure that augments traditional large-scale grid capacity development.

The partnership, which would initially target South Africa, Nigeria, Angola, Tanzania, Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Uganda, Ethiopia and South Sudan, would allow independent power producers, non-recourse infrastructure projects, manufacturers, natural resource companies, small- to medium-sized enterprises, and other potential borrowers to access project, equipment and trade finance as well as advisory services.

GE South Africa president and CEO Tim Schweikert, said this comes at the right time, as efforts are under way in South Africa and across the continent to increase access to electricity to stimulate economic growth and improve living conditions. Schweikert added that initiatives of this nature are in line with efforts by governments to find solutions to meet the growing demand for alternative fuels.

Standard Bank Nigeria subsidiary Stanbic IBTC Holdings CEO, Sola David-Borha, said financing will also be available for off-grid solutions across sub-Saharan Africa that rely on fuels such as biomass and biogas.