March 8 (Renewables Now) - The African Development Bank (AfDB) on Tuesday said it has approved a USD-25-million (EUR 23.7m) senior concessional loan to help Mali build its first utility-scale solar power plant, the 33-MW Segou project.
The project will be realised by a special purpose vehicle under a 25-year build, own, operate and transfer concession agreement with Mali's government, and a power purchase agreement (PPA) of the same duration with Mali's national utility, Energie du Mali. The vehicle will be fully owned by the private sector, AfDB said.
In 2015 Norway's Scatec Solar ASA (OSL:SSO) announced a deal to deliver the solar park in partnership with the World Bank's IFC InfraVentures and local developer Africa Power 1.
The project will be funded by the Program for Scaling Up Renewable Energy in Low Income Countries (SREP) of the Climate Investment Funds (CIF), with AfDB and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) providing co-financing of USD 8.4 million each. AfDB is one of the multilateral development banks (MDBs) that implement CIF-funded projects.
The Segou photovoltaic (PV) park will allow Mali to increase its installed capacity by harnessing its rich solar resource. The renewable electricity to be generated -- 52.7 GWh per year -- is equal to about 10% of the country's generation capacity at the moment, according to the announcement. It is also hoped that the project will provide a model for private investment in solar across West Africa.
(USD 1.0 = EUR 0.946)