Financial close reached on landmark hydroelectric power plant. Construction to start in April 2019. Project to provide 217 GWh of affordable, low carbon energy per year.
Casablanca, 11th of March 2019 – Themis, an Africa-focussed power company backed by Denham Capital, today announced that its investee company, Ivoire Hydro Energy (IHE), has reached financial close for the construction of a 44 MW hydroelectric power plant in the Côte d’Ivoire, a project in respect of which Themis has led the development since 2013.
Located near the Singrobo and Ahouaty villages on the Bandama river, the Singrobo-Ahouaty hydroelectric plant is the first independent power project (IPP) of its kind to have reached financial close in West Africa. Financial close for the project, which was achieved in five years, comes following a EUR149.6 million bridge loan facility provided by Africa Finance Corporation, with the first disbursement payment received in December 2018.
Construction of the Singrobo-Ahouaty hydroelectric power plant is expected to commence in April 2019, with a total project cost anticipated to be in the region of EUR195 million, inclusive of ancillary infrastructure, as well as environmental and social measures. Construction work will be led by Eiffage S.A., a leading French engineering, procurement and construction contractor, selected by IHE following an international competitive tendering process.
Once completed, the project is expected to provide approximately 217 GWh of affordable, low carbon energy per year. With the Côte d’Ivoire energy mix currently consisting of 70% thermal generation, the project will make a significant contribution to the country’s transition to a low carbon economy. The incorporation of a competitive cost-reflective tariff structure is expected to have a positive impact on the cost of electricity in Côte d’Ivoire, delivering long-term value and affordability for energy consumers.
Reaching financial close on the Singrobo-Ahouaty project represents a second significant milestone for Themis, with the company having previously achieved financial close on its first African power project – a 80 MW thermal power plant in Rwanda – in 2017.
Ms Tas Anvaripour, CEO of Themis commented: “Themis is proud to have led the delivery of a successful financial close for the Singrobo-Ahouaty hydroelectric plant. This not only represents an industry first for West Africa, but also a landmark achievement for Themis, representing the second African power project we have closed in our relatively short, five-year history. This project will produce affordable, low carbon energy and deliver a long-term, positive impact for both the environment and the local community.”
Mr. Ekolan Alain Etty, the majority shareholder of IHE Holdings, the local sponsors, said: “Singrobo-Ahouaty hydroelectric power plant will contribute towards maintaining the country’s energy supply, while catering to the long-term shift towards renewables in the power generation mix and bringing the electricity cost further down. I am extremely proud to have contributed to such a project as an Ivorian engineer. I hope this will be the first example of many other projects to be developed by local entrepreneurs in the country.”
Themis is a leading project developer and investor with an exclusive focus on incremental renewable power generation assets in Sub Saharan Africa. The team, headquartered in Casablanca, Morocco, has a proven track record in Africa and extensive execution capabilities. Themis landmark references include the EUR195 million 44MW hydroelectric plant in Côte d’Ivoire, which reached financial close in 2018 and the USD900 million 200MW hydroelectric plant in Madagascar which is in financing stage.
About the Singrobo-Ahouaty hydroelectric power project
Themis has been leading the development of the 44 MW Singrobo-Ahouaty hydroelectric power plant since 2013, when it partnered with Mr Ekolan Alain Etty, a local entrepreneur who prior to Themis’ involvement completed initial studies to assess the site’s potential for hydroelectric power development. Other project partners include the Africa Finance Corporation and the African Development Bank, as well as significant involvement from the Côte d’Ivoire Government’s Ministry of Petroleum, Energy and Renewable Energy and CI-ENERGIES.