The International Finance Corporation (IFC) has signed a $34-million financing agreement with Enel, the Industrial Development Corporation of Zambia and the European Investment Bank for the construction of the 34 MW Ngonye solar plant, in Zambia.
The agreement forms part of the IFC/World Bank Scaling Solar initiative and was announced at the Africa Energy Forum 2018, which is being held in Mauritius this week.
“The signing of this financing agreement marks an important step toward the start of an operational presence [for] Enel in Zambia, helping us establish a stronger foothold in the country.
“We will be contributing to Zambia’s sustainable development through our renewable energy, leveraging on the country’s abundance of resources and cooperation with reputed international and local partners within the framework of the Scaling Solar programme,” said Enel Global Renewable Energies division Enel Green Power head Antonio Cammisecra.
Ngonye, Enel’s first power plant in Zambia, is located in the Lusaka South Multi-Facility Economic Zone.
Enel will invest about $40-million in the construction of the facility, which is expected to produce around 70 GWh/y of electricity, helping Zambia to reduce shortages and diversify its energy generation mix.
The Ngonye solar plant will be owned by a special purpose vehicle in which Enel Green Power will hold 80% and the Industrial Development Corporation of Zambia will have a 20% stake.
The parties have signed a 25-year power purchase agreement with Zambia’s State-owned utility Zesco.
Scaling Solar is a World Bank Group initiative that offers competitive bidding and simplified procurement for grid-tied photovoltaic power, even in small markets. The programme supports the development of more than 1 GW of solar power across Africa.
“Scaling Solar has set a new standard for the development of solar power in Africa,” said IFC CEO Philippe Le Houérou.