AFRICA: Clean energy producer Serengeti raises $80m for expansion

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AFRICA: Clean energy producer Serengeti raises $80 million for expansion ©Nahlik/Shutterstock

Serengeti Energy is raising $80m to expand its activities in Africa. South of the Sahara, the Nairobi-based company builds small renewable energy plants (mainly hydroelectric) connected to the grid.

In order to accelerate its expansion in sub-Saharan Africa, the independent power producer (IPP) Serengeti Energy is raising 80 million dollars from several investors, including Proparco. The subsidiary of the French Development Agency (AFD) is providing $25 million alongside the Swedish government’s development finance institution Swedfund and STOA, a French impact fund specialising in infrastructure financing.

This fundraising will enable it to increase its portfolio of renewable energy projects in Africa. “The investment is made in a region of the world that lacks access to seed capital for energy projects and faces significant needs for additional sustainable energy capacity,” says Proparco.

A 300 MW portfolio

For its Head of Private Equity for Africa and the Middle East, Damien Braud, “by investing in Serengeti Energy, Proparco is strengthening its existing renewable energy portfolio with small hydro and solar power plants in sub-Saharan Africa. It is also an opportunity for Proparco to contribute to sustainable economic development, including climate change mitigation, by supporting access to reliable and affordable renewable energy.

Read also- UGANDA: EAIF lends $10.6 million for Nyamwamba II hydropower plant

Serengeti Energy is already supported by several other financial partners including the Nordic Development Fund (NDF), the Norwegian Investment Fund for Developing Countries (NORFUND) and the Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW), the German development agency. The Nairobi-based company is attracting so many international investors because over the past nine years it has succeeded in establishing itself as an independent power producer (IPP) in East Africa by building small hydroelectric and solar power plants at a rapid pace.

The company, led by Chris Bale, claims a portfolio of 300 MW of projects in operation and under construction in South Africa, Malawi, Rwanda and Uganda. A few weeks ago, the company, which was founded in 2013, commissioned the 9.2 MW Nyamwamba ll hydropower plant in Uganda. The run-of-river plant feeds its output into the Uganda Electricity Transmission Company Limited (UETCL) grid under a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA).

Jean Marie Takouleu

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