Angola to roll out 48 solar/battery hybrid mini grids in rural areas

  • UK bank, Standard Chartered, has announced a EUR 1.29 billion finance package for the Angolan Ministry of Finance to the construction of 48 hybrid photovoltaic generation systems with energy storage that act as ‘mini grids’ and operate autonomously.
  • The new generation systems will support rural villages across the country to become more self-sufficient and less reliant on Angola’s main electricity network.

The electrification project is being developed by the Angolan Ministry of Energy and Water and benefits approximately 203,000 households (circa one million Angolans) in 60 communities1. These are namely the provinces of Moxico, the country’s largest province located in the East, Lunda Norte and Lunda Sul in the North East, Bié in the central part of the country and Malanje that is found in the North West.

The loan will fund 48 hybrid photovoltaic generation systems with energy storage that act as ‘mini grids’ and operate autonomously, and will provide access to 100% renewable electricity2 for communities not connected to the national electricity grid. Additionally, the financing will support the expansion of the national grid in Malanje and build new lines and networks connecting other municipalities. The installation of the new electricity network will help diversify the country’s energy mix and calculations3 show that it can save up to 7.9 megatonnes of CO2 emissions.

The financing is backed by German Export Credit Agency Euler Hermes4 and the contractor MCA Group5 is managing the construction and project management. Of the EUR 1.29 billion total, EUR 1.2 billion is supported through Euler Hermes and the remaining EUR 0.09bn is a commercial loan. Standard Chartered acted as sole Bookrunner, Original Lender, Structuring Bank and Mandated Lead Arranger. The Bank structured the financing to help meet eight of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals6 and align to environmental and social risk management international best practices.

Author: Bryan Groenendaal

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