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EAIF participates in Uganda solar farm project financing, led by FMO

The Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (EAIF) announces today that it has participated in the financing of a project to build an industrial scale solar power station in Uganda, near the rural town of Soroti.

The Netherlands development bank, FMO, arranged and structured the transaction. EAIF contributed US$5.35 million to FMO’s total loan to its client of US$10.7 million. The facility is being built and operated by Access Uganda Solar Limited, a partnership between Eren Renewable Energy and Access Infra Africa.

EAIF is a direct investment vehicle of the Private Infrastructure Development Group.

Generating 10.13 megawatts of electricity at full capacity, Soroti’s solar station output will be fed into Uganda’s national grid. It is likely that the energy will be used to meet local demands, as this will reduce losses caused by long distance transmission. Access Uganda Solar estimates that it will supply 40,000 homes with sustainable clean energy. Local people will benefit from the improved reliability of supply. Construction is underway, with full production estimated to begin the second half of 2016.

Only 6% of rural Uganda has access to electricity, with most energy currently generated by hydro power. Solar power helps diversify power supply sources and makes a significant contribution when low rainfall or drought reduces the dependability of hydro stations.

Emilio Cattaneo, EAIF’s Executive Director, says,

“Solar power has enormous potential to transform lives and economies in Africa. This is the third solar project we have been instrumental in developing. The Soroti development takes the world closer to achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. ”The Soroti project also benefits from the GET FiT programme, which provides subsidies to projects. Because of GET FiT, the local electricity grid is being made more reliable with higher capacity and contributing towards more affordable energy for users.