French IPP Akuo Energy Close 50Mw Solar Project in Mali

  • The 50Mw Kita solar farm project has been under development since 2014.
  • The project will be to the largest in West Africa to date.
  • The successful closing of the financing demonstrates the need for a blend of different financial instruments to overcome local challenges.
  • A 28-year power purchase agreement was concluded with Electricité du Mali.

Global law firm, Norton Rose Fulbright, has successfully closed the financing facilities on a 50MW solar photovoltaic (PV) plant in Sikasso, Mali for the first French green Independent Power Producer, Akuo Energy.

The Kita solar farm is its first project to begin construction in Africa and is the largest in West Africa, according to a company statement. The project has been in development by Akuo Energy since 2014, with Norton Rose Fulbright advising on the transaction since July 2016.

The plant will be the first solar PV power station in Mali owned and run by a private sector IPP. Akuo Kita Solar will sell its power to Electricité du Mali, the national utility, under a 28-year power purchase agreement.

The firm’s teams in Johannesburg and Paris represented the following Lenders:

  • The Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund Limited (acting through its agent and investment manager Investec Asset Management Proprietary Limited)
  • Banque Ouest Africaine de Développement
  • Banque Nationale de Développement Agricole
  • Nederlandse Financierings-Maatschappij Voor Ontwikkelingslanden N.V. (FMO)

Head of Banking and Finance at Norton Rose Fulbright South Africa, Jackie Midlane, who led on the transaction, said: “We are proud to have played a key role in the region’s most high-profile, innovative transactions.”

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. 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 in the region.

Author: Ashley Theron

This article was originally published on ESI Africa and is republished with permission with minor editorial changes. Link to original

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