Akuo Energy which is the leading French independent renewable energy power producer is set to build a 50MW Solar Photovoltaic (PV) power plant in Mali. The firm has secured US $96m in financing for the construction of the mega project.
Private sector infrastructure funding organization Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (EAIF) confirmed the news and said that the plant will be the first solar PV power station in Mali owned and run by a private sector IPP. It will also be the largest solar farm in West Africa.
The new plant-Akuo Kita Solar will sell its power to Electricité du Mali, the national utility, under a 28-year power purchase agreement.
Up to 400 people, including 20 managers will be employed during the 12-month construction period. When operational, the plant will have 30 permanent staff, all of whom are expected to be from Mali.
“Akuo Kita Solar is the second power project in Mali to benefit from a debt service reserve account guarantee this year and demonstrates the critical role that credit enhancement can play in improving the viability of essential infrastructure,” explains partner funding organization GuarantCo CE Lasitha Perera.
“The successful closing of the Akuo Kita financing demonstrates the need for a blend of different financial instruments. This could serve as a good template for future solar schemes,” adds Green Africa Power executive director Peter Hutchinson.
Akuo Kita is EAIF’s second project in Mali. In June 2017, it announced its backing for Albatros Energie Mali, which is building a 90 MW heavy-fuel oil power station in the country.
EAIF is managed by Investec Asset Management, one of the largest third-party investors in private equity, credit, public equity and sovereign debt across the African continent.
About Akuo Energy, Entrepreneur by Nature
Akuo Energy is the leading French independent renewable energy power producer. Akuo Energy is present across the whole value chain, including project development, financing, construction, and operation.
As of end-2017, Akuo Energy had invested more than EUR 2.2 billion for a total capacity of 1.1 GW in operation, under construction or with financing underway and over 2 GW in projects being developed. With to date more than 340 staff, the Group, whose headquarters are in Paris, France, operates in 13 other countries around the world: the United States, Uruguay, Indonesia, Turkey, Poland, Croatia, Australia, Luxembourg, Mongolia, Dominican Republic, Mali, Bulgaria and Dubai. Akuo Energy aims to have a global production capacity of 3,500 MW in 2022.