Saturday 17 March 2018

Mainstream project secures $117m Africa finance

Eddie O'Connor, Chief Executive of Mainstream Renewable Power. Photo: Tom Burke
Eddie O'Connor, Chief Executive of Mainstream Renewable Power. Photo: Tom Burke
John Mulligan

John Mulligan

Mainstream Renewable Power, the energy firm headed by Eddie O'Connor, has secured a $117m financing deal to fund the development of wind and solar energy projects in Africa.

The funding package will enable the roll-out of 1,300 megawatts of power schemes across the continent by 2018.

The finance was secured by Lekela Power, a renewable energy business which is a joint venture between Dublin-based Mainstream and Actis, a global emerging market private equity firm.

Mr O'Connor said that developing Africa's power infrastructure and giving millions of people access to power and enabling the continent's economic growth "is one of the greatest challenges of our time".

The equity investment in Lekela Power was provided by investors including International Finance Corporation, which is part of the World Bank. IFC has a $5bn investment portfolio in Africa, investing in businesses and institutions there.

IFC has invested in Lekela Power via two of its funds - the IFC African, Latin American and Caribbean Fund, and the IFC Catalyst fund.

Lekela Power plans to build four more wind farms in South Africa, two wind farms and a solar plant in Egypt, and wind farms in Senegal and Ghana.

Mainstream and Lekela are aiming to help fulfil the objectives of a series of key international initiatives, including the Obama administration's Power Africa, which aims to add 30,000MW of cleaner power generation through government and private partnerships, and the UN's Sustainable Energy for All, which seeks to achieve universal access to power by 2030.

Mainstream Renewable Power is already active in South Africa.

Irish Independent

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