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26th January 2018

First private sector solar farm for Mali

PIDG supports 50MW renewable power in one of the world’s poorest countries

PIDG companies EAIF, GuarantCo and GAP have provided innovative finance to support the first private sector solar farm in Mali.

The 50MW Akuo Kita solar farm is to be built in southern Mali and will be the largest of its kind in west Africa.

Power generated at the site will be fed in to the national grid and will serve up to 730,000 people.

This will help to reduce reliance on the burning wood and charcoal for power, which provides 78% of energy supplies.

PIDG CEO Philippe Valahu said: “The success of Akuo Kita demonstrates how PIDG’s innovative financial tools can bring infrastructure to fruition in fragile and low income countries.

“I am ambitious that this model will serve as a template for future solar schemes in the region; supporting economic development and combatting poverty.”

Mali is classed as a fragile state and is one of the world’s 25 poorest countries. Some 36% of Malians live below the poverty line and 30% of the working age population is unemployed.

Up to 400 people, including 20 managers, will be employed during the 14-month construction period. Once operational, the plant will have 30 permanent staff, all of whom are expected to be from Mali.

Working with private sector developer Akuo Energy, EAIF acted as the mandated lead arranger for the 54m of financing for the project, lending 18m over 15 years.

PIDG’s Green Africa Power is providing a mezzanine loan of €8m over 20 years and GuarantCo a Debt Service Reserve Account guarantee, which provides financial assistance in the event a project is unable to make its loan repayments due to currency volatility. 

Kita infographic Twitter