Canadian renewable energy developer East African Power (EAP) has acquired an 85% stake in the Kolwezi and Likasi solar projects in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

The two solar photovoltaic (PV) plants will each have a capacity of 133MW and will be located in the Katanga and Lualaba Provinces, in the DRC's mining region.

The output will be sold to state utility Société Nationale d'Électricité (SNEL) under a 20-year power purchase agreement.

EAP hopes to achieve financial close on the projects in 2024. 

The Trade and Development Bank (TDB) has provided support for the project preparation, extending a technical assistance facility to enable EAP to review and update the studies. TDB will also act as the exclusive mandated lead arranger for the debt financing.

Further support is being provided by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) through its East Africa Power Programme and by Mauritius-based Sustainable Capital.

A spokesperson for EAP told ConstructAfrica that procurement is planned to begin in the fourth quarter of this year, with commercial production slated before the end of 2024.

"We have ongoing financing conversations and are confident that we will be able to meet our timelines in terms of financial close and commissioning," he added.

The total investment cost is estimated at US$250 million. 

EAP aims to develop 1GW of renewable energy capacity by 2030. It has delivered more than 10 projects in East Africa and has 50 others at various stages of development across the region.

Photo: Solar panels (© Stangot | Dreamstime)

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