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EAIF welcomes prestigious award for financing of Nigeria’s Azura-Edo power plant

One of the world’s leading project finance magazines, EMEAFinance, has awarded its 2015 African public/private partnership prize to the financing of the Azura-Edo power plant in Nigeria. The Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (EAIF) provided US$30 million in senior and subordinated loans to the project and played a key role in structuring the financing, which was led by FMO, the Dutch development bank. FMO was presented with the award at a ceremony in London on 9th June.

EAIF is a member of the Private Infrastructure Development Group, and is funded by the governments of the UK, The Netherlands, Sweden and Switzerland, private sector banks and development finance organisations.

Construction of the US$865 million, 450MW, power station in Benin City in Edo State, Nigeria, began in January 2016. When complete, it will supply 3.7 million households (approximately 22 million people) and numerous businesses. Consumers will be able to access electricity from the national grid for the first time and at lower cost than off-grid energy.

1000 people are involved in the construction of the plant and 60 permanent jobs will be created when it is operational.

David White, chair of EAIF, says that boosting Nigeria’s electricity generating capacity is at the very heart of creating a growing economy that stimulates business and jobs and helps combat poverty. He continued;

“In May 2016, The Economist magazine wrote that of all Nigeria’s daily headaches, power is perhaps the worst. That is why the Azura-Edo project is of such importance. EAIF is delighted that the project financing effort has been recognised and even more delighted that our work is helping to build stronger economies, create more jobs, build more stable societies and help banish poverty.”

The Azura-Edo IPP, a 450MW Open Cycle Gas Turbine power station, is the first project to be initiated by Azura Power. It is part of a 2,000MW IPP facility being developed near Benin City. A 100-hectare site was acquired for the IPP (Independent Power Producer), large enough to accommodate future expansion of the power plant. The facility is being executed in two to three phases with a tendered capacity, in open cycle and at site conditions, of 450MW in Phase 1. Financial Close for Phase 1 was reached on 28 December 2015 and construction started on 5 January 2016.