Proparco, the International Finance Corporation (IFC, World Bank Group) and the European Investment Bank (EIB) have granted loans totalling €38 million for the construction and operation of two solar power plants in Senegal. Proparco, building on the experience acquired through the financing provided in 2016 for the construction of the Senergy and Ten Merina solar power plants in Senegal, coordinated IFC’s and EIB’s interventions in this operation. Part of IFC’s contribution is financed by the Finland-IFC Blended Finance for Climate program.
The two plants, with a total installed capacity of 80MWp, will be built in the rural regions of Kahone and Touba in central Senegal.
Funding is provided to the sponsors Meridiam and Engie and the Senegalese sovereign fund Fonsis. These projects are the first two achievements in Senegal of the World Bank’s Scaling Solar programme, which aims to promote investments in renewable energy in emerging markets.
“Thanks to the determination of the Senegalese government, the commitment of donors such as Proparco and the know-how of the two French renewable energy specialists Meridiam and Engie, we are once again demonstrating the great potential of solar energy to improve Senegalese access to clean, renewable and affordable energy” said Gregory Clemente, Chief Executive Officer of Proparco.
The two projects are the first ones in Senegal under the World Bank Group’s Scaling Solar programme, which was designed to promote private investments in renewable solar energy in emerging markets. Following the approach, the projects were awarded after an international call for tenders lead by IFC’s Advisory team under a mandate from the Government of Senegal.
“With the signing of the funding, Senegal is once again demonstrating that the Scaling Solar approach provides record prices by creating a competitive tender and attracting world-leading players,” said Aliou Maiga, IFC Regional Director for West and Central Africa.
“We are pleased that many other countries, in Africa and beyond, are following this path and are adopting this model to accelerate the development of solar energy.”
EIB Vice-President Ambroise Fayolle added: “The European Investment Bank is the largest public-sector lender for climate action. It is supporting the internationalisation of renewable energies and is happy to support this global project in Senegal with Proparco and IFC.
“New investment in renewable energies is key to economic development and social progress in Africa, and with this ambitious project, Senegal is demonstrating the advantages of investing in clean energies and the impact on electricity access and costs.”
The Kahone and Touba solar power plants are expected to provide nearly 600,000 people with better access to renewable electricity.
These two projects will avoid the emission of 2.2 million tons of CO2 over the lifetime of the installations while producing the cheapest energy in the country. They thus contribute to the country’s ambitious objective of increasing the share of renewable energy in its energy mix.
They will also create or support more than 2,300 direct and indirect local jobs.