IFC Invests in and Arranges Financing Package for the Azito Power Plant Expansion

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, Globeleq Africa Holdings Limited (Globeleq), a leading independent power producer in Africa, and Industrial Promotion Services (West Africa) (IPS (WA), a member of the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (AKFED), committed the financing for the expansion of the Azito thermal power plant (Azito Phase 4) in Côte d’Ivoire. The plant’s expansion will help increase the supply of reliable, affordable power in Côte d’Ivoire, where, as of 2017, less than 66% of the population had access to electricity.

Azito Phase 4 will add to the existing plant new gas and steam turbines (for an additional 253 MW), allowing Azito to generate an additional 2,000 GWh per annum – or over 30% of the country’s electricity for the whole plant. Power produced by Azito Phase 4 will displace less efficient and older thermal units in the market, substantially reducing costs and emissions, and contribute to meeting growing domestic and regional demand for electricity. The expansion is expected to increase access to electricity for hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses.

Azito Phase 4 will help the Republic of Côte d’Ivoire meet its national target of 42% renewables by 2030 by supporting grid stability and helping integrate intermittent renewables to complement the country’s hydropower base (900 MW, or about 40% of total installed capacity). Côte d’Ivoire’s potential for renewable energy is highlighted in a recent IFC report. IFC continues to work with the Government of Côte d’Ivoire on developing additional renewable energy capacity.

IFC, as Lead Arranger and Global Coordinator, arranged the full debt financing package of EUR 264 million, provided by: the African Development Bank (AfDB); the West African Development Bank (BOAD); OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID); a pool of European Development Finance Institutions (EDFIS), including PROPARCO, the Belgian Investment Company for Developing Countries (BIO), the German Investment Corporation (DEG); and the Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (EAIF) – an Africa-focused debt fund managed by Investec Asset Management and the Netherlands Development Finance Company (FMO). Along with mobilizing the debt, IFC is providing, as part of the debt package, a EUR 46 million loan to Azito for its own account, as well as interest rate swaps for the Euro-denominated debt.

The new round of financing builds on the success of the Azito thermal power plant, which has been providing low-cost and base load power, while efficiently using Côte d’Ivoire’s natural gas endowment since 2000.

“We are very pleased to see Azito Phase 4 reach this important milestone. This project will allow Côte d’Ivoire to meet growing demand while reducing sector costs and emissions and enable the country to integrate more renewables going forward, while consolidating it as a regional energy hub. Congratulations to the Government of Côte d’Ivoire, Azito Energie and its shareholders, Globeleq and IPS WA, for this achievement,” said Linda Rudo Munyengeterwa, IFC’s Regional Industry Director, Infrastructure and Natural Resources, Middle East and Africa.

Over the past two decades, IFC, alongside the World Bank, has supported the Government of Côte d’Ivoire in placing the country’s power sector on a financially sustainable path. The new round of financing follows prior IFC investments in the country’s power sector in 1994, 1998, 2012 and 2013.

Paul Hanrahan, Globeleq’s CEO, said: “As a long-term supplier of reliable and environmentally sustainable power to the people of Côte d’Ivoire, we and our shareholders, CDC and Norfund, are delighted to expand our role in the country’s growth and development.”

Mahamadou Sylla, IPS (WA)’s CEO, said: “This fourth expansion of the Azito plant builds on the long-term relationship between IPS (WA), the Government of Côte d’Ivoire and the DFIs community which combined support amounts to over USD 750 million (more than CFA 430 billion). We are grateful for this partnership, which has allowed IPS (WA), a member of the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (AKFED), to strengthen its role as a contributor to the development of Côte d’Ivoire and other countries in the subregion.”

Luc Ayé, Azito Energie’s CEO, said: “This expansion which represents a significant part of the country’s national electricity plan, is supported by the Government, who envisions Côte d’Ivoire as an energy hub for West Africa.”