Enel Group’s global renewable energy division Enel Green Power (EGP) has started construction on the 34 MW Ngonye solar photovoltaic (PV) plant, which is the group’s first power plant in Zambia.
The PV facility, which is located in Lusaka South Multi-Facility Economic Zone in the country’s south, is part of World Bank Group’s Scaling Solar programme carried out by Zambia’s Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), which, in June 2016, awarded EGP the right to develop, finance, construct, own and operate the plant.
“The start of construction of Ngonye solar plant is a new milestone in the strengthening of Enel Group’s presence in the African continent, where we already are the first private renewable operator in terms of installed capacity,” said EGP head Antonio Cammisecra.
Enel Group will invest around $40-million on the construction of Ngonye, which is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2019.
In June, Enel Group signed a financing agreement for around $34-million with the Zambia IDC for the construction of the PV plant. The funding includes senior loans of up to $10-million from the International Finance Corporation, a member of World Bank Group; up to $12-million from the IFC-Canada Climate Change Program; and up to $11.75-million from the European Investment Bank.
The Ngonye plant, which will be owned by a special purpose vehicle 80% held by EGP and 20% by the Zambia IDC, is supported by a 25-year power purchase agreement signed with Zambia’s State-owned utility Zesco.