By THE AFRICA BAZAAR Staff Writer
As lead fund arranger and global coordinator, the International Finance Corp., has created a $267 million fund for the expansion of Compagnie Ivoirienne de PRoduction d’ Electricité (CIPREL) thermal power plant in Côte d’Ivoire, to contribute to the improvement of access to energy in the country.
CIPREL, a subsidiary of Paris-based Finagestion SA, is in the process of a major expansion plan that includes an additional gas turbine 111 MW and the conversion of its two most recent gas turbine combined cycle turbines, adding capacity additional 111 MW by means of a steam turbine. The second part of the expansion, dubbed Phase 4B, will allow the company to generate electricity per year at a reduced cost without incurring additional 800 GWh of gas consumption and emission of greenhouse gas emissions. The total cost of the two investments totaled 350 million euros.
According to the deal’s arrangement, IFC will provide the company with a loan of $133 million during Phase 4B. Additional $67 million loans will each be provided by two organizations dedicated to helping developing nations achieve the Millennium Development Goals: PROPARCO, a development financial institution partly owned by Agence Française de Développement (AFD) and private shareholders from the developed countries and Asian Development Bank.
“With this expansion, CIPREL continues to provide Côte d’Ivoire what the country needs most after a few difficult years, reliable electricity, clean and low cost, which will allow the country to capitalize on its economic dynamism and take the path of sustainable development,” said Bernard Kouassi N’Guessan, chief executive officer of CIPREL.
Once the expansion work is completed, the total installed capacity of 543 MW will help CIPREL make the largest thermal power center in Côte d’Ivoire and one of the largest in the region.
The extra energy will also improve access to electricity for Ivorians and will help to meet growing electricity demand, stimulate economic growth in Côte d’Ivoire and allow the country to meet its objectives export to neighbors in the sub-region.
“CIPREL and the Ivorian government has made considerable efforts to develop this important investment. We are pleased to continue to support CIPREL, a company that takes major steps to help meet the electricity needs of the country and the region, “said Yolande Duhem, IFC director for West Africa and Central.
Increased access to electricity is one of the major objectives of the organization to the development strategy of IFC infrastructure in sub-Saharan Africa. IFC has invested over a $1 billion in infrastructure projects in Africa during the 2013 fiscal year and plans 200 million more than five years ago.
Marc Alberola, CEO of Finagestion said in a statement, “With this investment, Finagestion is pleased to support the flagship of its subsidiaries in the field of electricity generation, CIPREL has become a benchmark for technical excellence, operational and financial, not only in Côte d’Ivoire, but throughout Africa. We are delighted to have reached this funding with a group of financial as committed,”
CIPREL, incorporated in 1994 as the first independent power producer in the Ivory Coast, to develop a gas plant near Abidjan. The company began operations in March 1995 with a first tranche, consisting of three gas turbines with a capacity of 33 MW. A second group, open cycle turbine, representing an additional production capacity of 11 MW was added in June 1997. A third installment, representing an additional production capacity of 111 MW (open cycle turbine) was added in December 2009.
Finagestion SA, parent holding company for CIPREL, is a diverse group of utilities with substantial experience in the areas of electricity and water in Côte d’Ivoire and Senegal.