POWERGRID and Africa50 to set up Africa’s first transmission PPP project
New Delhi: The Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (POWERGRID) and Africa50 today signed a Joint Development Agreement, to pioneer Africa’s first power transmission public-private partnership (PPP) project in Kenya.
Africa50 is a pan-African infrastructure investment platform that contributes to Africa’s economic growth by developing and investing in bankable infrastructure projects, catalyzing public sector capital, and mobilizing private sector funding, with differentiated financial returns and impact. Africa50 currently has 31 shareholders, comprised of 28 African countries, the African Development Bank, the Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO), and Bank Al-Maghrib.
The project entails the development, financing, construction, and operation of the 400kV Lessos – Loosuk and 220kV Kisumu – Musaga transmission lines under the PPP framework. Once completed, the project will be the first Independent Power Transmission (IPT) in Kenya and will set a reference point in Africa as the first financing of transmission lines on a PPP basis. This Project will also improve both the supply and reliability of power transmission in Western Kenya and further create a demonstration effect to help increase private sector investments into the expansion of Africa’s power transmission networks, which is critical to bridging the continent’s electricity access gap.
In this development partnership, POWERGRID, one of the world’s leading electric transmission utility companies will provide technical and operational know-how to the project, while Africa50 will bring its project development and finance expertise and will act as a bridge between the Kenyan government and private investors.
The signing of this agreement underscores POWERGRID and Africa50’s commitment to continue to dedicate resources to accelerate development activities on the project until financial close.
Signing on behalf of POWERGRID, the Chairman and Managing Director, K. Sreekant, said a robust transmission network not only imparts reliability and security to the electricity grid but also allows non-discriminatory access to buyers and sellers which spurs the competition that results into competitive electricity prices to ultimate consumer. “POWERGRID hopes that the present transmission project in Kenya shall serve as a Model for undertaking more such projects in Kenya as well as other African countries. POWERGRID with its rich technical and managerial experience in undertaking transmission systems under PPP mode shall be pleased to be associated in this journey,” he added.
Commenting on the signing, the CEO of Africa50 Alain Ebobissé said in the past few years, a lot of emphasis has been placed on attracting private investments in energy production infrastructure in Africa. “It is time to also focus on catalyzing private investment into the development of power transmission networks across Africa as these are a critical link to improving electricity access, especially in underserved communities,” he said.
-global bihari bureau