Kenya’s 40-Megawatt Kesses Solar Project Backed by Infrastructure Fund
Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund US$35 million loan to support solar projects in Kenya.
The Private Infrastructure Development Group’s (PIDG) subsidiary, Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (EAIF), has cemented its place as the leading provider of debt funding to Africa’s alternative energy sector.
EAIF has provided a US$35 million loan over 15 years to a solar generation facility.
Standard Bank, headquartered in Johannesburg, is the lead financier on the project and will provide US$41 million for the facility, including the US$35 million from the EAIF with VAT. Standard Bank is acting through its CIB (Corporate and Investment Banking) and Stanbic Bank Kenya Limited divisions.
The Kesses project will be near Eldoret in the Rift Valley in Kenya. It is being developed by Spanish solar company Alten Energías Renovables through their Kenyan branch, Alten Kenya Solarfarms BV.
The project is estimated to cost US$87 million, and with it, Standard Bank continues to support clean energy projects across Africa. It will be the second project that the bank has funded along with the Alten Group.
Eldoret has one of the highest population concentrations in the Rift Valley region. It is an epicentre for trade and commerce activities and for higher education, textile manufacturing and agribusiness.
Construction of the Kesses solar generation facility has commenced and is planned to be completed by spring 2022.
With this project, Kenya will become the ninth African country where EAIF will support a range of renewable energy projects. The others are Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Mali, Mozambique, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda.
Alten will sell the generated electricity to Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KPLC) on a 20-year take-or-pay Power Purchase Agreement.
Sine Zulu, an Investment Specialist at EAIF’s investment managers, Ninety One, said: “The Kesses plant brings multiple benefits to Kenya’s economic development. It will also play an important part in combatting climate change and strengthening Kenya’s ability to recover from Covid-19. The Kesses plant will drastically improve energy access to thousands of people and will also lend support to the United Nations’ SDG 7. SDG 7 provides for access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy for all”.
Top Photo: Solar power plant installed by Alten in Hardap, Namibia (alten-energy.com)