African power producer Serengeti raises $90 mn from offshore investors, EAIF

 African power producer Serengeti raises $90 mn from offshore investors, EAIF

Serengeti’s Stortemelk Hydro project. Photo credit: STOA

Serengeti Energy, a sub-Saharan Africa independent power producer, has raised a tad more than $90 million from four investors to develop and operate renewable energy and small hydro projects in a region that is heavily dependent on fossil fuels.

French impact fund STOA led an $80-million structured finance round in Serengeti with a cheque of $35 million. French and Swedish development finance institutions Proparco and Swedfund brought in $25 million and $20 million, respectively, as per separate statements.

The funding will help Serengeti meet its objective to own and operate a portfolio of more than 300 MW by 2030, STOA said.

Separately, the Private Infrastructure Development Group’s (PIDG) Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (EAIF) is providing a $10.6 million loan over 17 years to Serengeti for developing the Nyamwamba ll 7.8 MW run-of-the-river hydroelectricity plant in the Kasese district of Western Uganda.

The EAIF said it was the sole lender in the financing transaction signed on May 13. It added that the Uganda plant has a 20-year agreement to supply all the energy produced to the national grid.

Swedfund said its investment is expected to increase the production of renewable energy and promote sustainable economic development.

Damien Braud, head of private equity for Africa and the Middle East at Proparco, said the investment the strenthen’s the French investor’s renewable energy portfolio with small-scale hydro and solar power in Sub-Saharan Africa.

“It is also an opportunity for Proparco to contribute to sustainable economic development, including climate change mitigation, by supporting access to reliable and affordable renewable energy,” said Braud.

Serengeti is a medium-sized independent power producer established in 2013 in Kenya. The company focuses on investing in, and co-developing, small to medium-sized grid-connected renewable energy projects in sub-Saharan Africa with a primary focus on small-scale hydro and solar as well as wind power.

The Nairobi-based firm has seven operating assets in South Africa, Uganda and Rwanda. It is constructing two more projects in Malawi and Sierra Leone that will take its total capacity to 70 MW.

Serengeti has previously raised equity capital from the German development bank KfW, the Norwegian Development Finance Institution (Norfund) and the Nordic Development Fund (NDF).

Vivek Sinha

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