Solar Project in Mali Gets Loan From African Development Bank

BAMAKO (Capital Markets in Africa) – The African Development Bank approved a concessional loan for a 33-megawatt solar project in southeast Mali that’s being built by Norwegian renewable energy company Scatec Solar ASA and U.S. development institutions International Finance Corp. and Power Africa.

The Segou solar plant is expected to supply about 5 percent of the African country’s electricity, equivalent to 60,000 households, according to a statement on Scatec’s website. The partners have signed a 25-year power purchase agreement with state-owned utility Electricite du Mali.

The project is expected to cost 52 million euros ($55 million) to install, with 45 percent to be funded with senior project finance debt and 30 percent with concessional loans. The IFC is providing 13 million euros and has said it will arrange another 10 million euros. The remainder will be equity provided by the project partners.

“This landmark agreement signals the government’s commitment to meet the nation’s growing energy demand and to provide clean, renewable and affordable energy to our people,” said Mamadou Frankaly Keita, minister of energy and water.

Scatec owns half of the project. IFC’s InfraVentures fund has a 32.5 percent stake and a local project development company Africa Power 1 will hold the rest.

The project is the second large-scale solar project in Mali. French developer Akuo Energy SAS teamed up with Arnold Schwarzenegger’s clean energy non-profit R20 Regions of Climate Action in 2015 to build a 50-megawatt photovoltaic plant in the southwest region of the country.

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