The Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (EAIF), a member of the Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG), is lending €28 million to a €330 million expansion of the Azito Energie gas-fired power station in Cote D’Ivoire, known as Azito 4. The additional 253MW of capacity being installed at the plant will increase output to 710MW. It will produce electricity at low-cost, with only local hydro-electric facilities providing cheaper power. The transaction was signed on 19th July. Financial close is expected in September.
This is the second loan EAIF has made to Azito. In 2012, it loaned the company US$30 million towards the construction of the first plant. The new financing, which has a term of 15.5 years, met a funding gap that EAIF was comfortable filling because of the management’s successful operation of the existing plant and its resilient cash flows. In addition, the demand for energy in Cote D’Ivoire, and regionally, continues to grow.
The enlarged power station will produce 2,170 GHh of electricity annually. Using an OECD formula for measuring the impact of new generating capacity, Azito 4 has the potential to provide cheaper and cleaner power to up to 4.9 million people. The new equipment will generate 181MW from a new gas turbine and 72MW from a new steam turbine.
EAIF Executive Director, Emilio Cattaneo says,
“Azito Energie is a proven business with a management team that has operated a successful plant for a number of years. Expanding Cote D’Ivoire’s base load electricity capacity will improve the resilience of the economy, which is of fundamental importance in fragile states. It will help stimulate business activity and improve domestic life. Public services such as health and education will also benefit from the greater availability of power at affordable prices.”