Globeleq, the emerging markets power company, has started construction for the 139 MW expansion of its existing Azito gas-to-power plant near Abidjan, Cote d'Ivoire. The final nominal capacity of the plant will be 420 MW, making it one of the largest and the most efficient thermal power plants in Cote d'Ivoire.
Construction should be completed during early 2015. The project was financed on a limited recourse basis with 80% of the expansion funding provided by lenders including the International Finance Corporation, European development finance institutions led by Proparco and BOAD. The majority of the equity funds will be contributed by Globeleq, which is solely owned by Actis (the pan-emerging markets private equity firm), with the remaining funds provided by its project partner, IPS (West Africa), a company majority-owned by the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development. The Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), a member of the World Bank Group, is providing insurance cover for some aspects of Globeleq's investment.
Globeleq's CEO, Mikael Karlsson, said: "We are very excited to start construction on the Azito expansion. The project has solid fundamentals and very strong support from all stakeholders. Once operating, the facility will produce 50% more power using no additional gas and therefore no further emissions. This success clearly demonstrates the ongoing co-operation needed by the government, the international financing community and the private sectors to successfully develop the energy sector in the region. Azito is a quality asset and strengthens our position as a leadig private power company in Africa and we look forward to providing more reliable and affordable electricity to contribute to Cote d'Ivoire's economic growth."
The expansion project has been registered under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and was recently awarded the 2012 African Power deal of the Year Award by Project Finance International magazine.
Once operational, the additional electricity will be sold to the State of Cote d'Ivoire, acting through CI Energies, under a 20 year concession. Hyundai Engineering and Construction Co Ltd is the EPC contractor and will design, build and commission the expansion on a turnkey basis. During the peak of construction, over 1,000 jobs will be created, with an emphasis on local resourcing.