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PIDG companies reach financial close on major solar power plant in Mali

The Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund and GuarantCo supporting €78m Akuo Kita solar power plant in Mali.

  • Second Mali power project for PIDG
  • Largest West African solar project
  • EAIF Mandated Lead Arranger
  • Deal incorporates €54 million debt facility and €2.3 million Debt Service Reserve Account guarantee

PIDG companies, the Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (EAIF) and GuarantCo, announced today that the €78 million Akuo Kita solar power station project in Mali has achieved financial close.

EAIF, the joint Mandated Lead Arranger (MLA) on the Akuo Kita Solar project financing, arranged the senior debt facility for a total of €54 million over 15 years. The project marks EAIF’s first MLA role in a French-speaking African country and is PIDG’s second energy project in Mali.

EAIF’s share of the debt package is €18 million and it provided an additional €8 million mezzanine facility over 20 years. GuarantCo has provided a €2.3 million Debt Service Reserve Account guarantee.

The transaction was co-arranged with the Banque Ouest Africaine de Développement. The other senior debt providers are FMO, the Dutch development finance institution and Banque Nationale de Développement Agricole.

Built and managed by the French company, Akuo Energy, the 50MW Akuo Kita Solar plant will sell its power to Electricité du Mali SA, the national utility, under a 28-year power-purchase-agreement. It will be the largest solar farm in West Africa; powering the equivalent of over 91,000 homes a year in a fragile country where 36% live below the poverty line. Up to 400 people, including 20 managers, will be employed during the plant’s 14-month construction period. When operational, the Akuo Kita facility will employ 30 permanent staff, all of whom are expected to be from Mali.

PIDG continues to support the development of renewable energy projects in fragile economies; encouraging economic growth and helping to provide greater confidence for investors.

Akuo Kita is PIDG’s second project in Mali. Its first, a thermal power station, also supported by EAIF and GuarantCo, is approaching its commissioning stage.