AfDB’s Africa50 join Scatec to develop 100MW Nova Scotia solar plant

Representatives Nova Scotia
Representatives of Africa50, Scatec Solar and Norfund at the JDA signing ceremony in Abuja

Africa50, the infrastructure fund for Africa established by the African Development Bank (AfDB), has signed a joint development agreement (JDA) with Norwegian Scatec Solar for the 100 megawatts (MW) Nova Scotia independent solar power project in Jigawa.

A statement from Africa50 and Scatec announcing the development stated that the project will be sited near Dutse in Jigawa state, and co-developed with Norfund, the Norwegian Investment Fund for Developing Countries.

Scatec Solar is a Norwegian integrated independent solar power producer with solar power installation track record of nearly 600MW, and currently producing electricity from 426MW of solar power plants in the Czech Republic, South Africa, Rwanda, Honduras, Jordan and the United States.

The Nova Scotia project which already has a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with Nigeria’s bulk electricity trader – the NBET, will also include the construction of a dedicated 132kV overhead transmission line to connect the plant to the Dutse transmission substation of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN).

The statements noted that under the JDA, Africa50, Scatec Solar, and Norfund will commit their resources and funding to complete the development phase of the project and prepare it for financial close.

Its signing ceremony was reportedly held in the presence of Børge Brende, the visiting Norwegian Foreign Minister, Ibrahim Hassan Hadejia, Deputy Governor of Jigawa State, as well as NBET officials in Abuja.

“The formation of this consortium is a strong symbol of the Norwegian and Nigerian commitment to invest in clean energy in Nigeria. With the Government of Norway taking a direct investment role through Norfund, significant regional and Nigerian ownership through Africa50, and the track-record of Scatec Solar, this offers one of the most solid partnerships for solar PV projects globally,” one of the statements quoted Scatec Executive Vice President, Terje Pilskog to have said after signing the JDA on behalf of the firm.

The other statement also quoted Dr. Akinwuni Adesina, President of the AfDB and Chairman of Africa50’s Board of Directors to have said on the development: “I am pleased that, a mere five months after its first Annual General Meeting, Africa50 is already making its first investment.”

“This investment fits in squarely with one of the High 5 priorities that I laid out for the AfDB Group – to ‘light up and power Africa.’ I look forward to more Africa50-supported projects that will promote Africa’s economic development, as the fund ramps up its infrastructure investments,” added Adesina.

Similarly, the CEO of Africa50, Alain Ebobisse stated on the development that: “Access to reliable energy is one of the most critical needs in Africa, including in Nigeria, where it is a government priority. I look forward to deepening the relationship with the authorities of Nigeria, one of our key shareholder countries, and to supporting more projects in this and other infrastructure sectors.”

Apart from the three equity investors, Scatec said the American Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), Islamic Development Bank and the AfDB are expected to be senior debt providers for the project.

The AfDB established Africa50 as a new investment vehicle which focuses on high-impact national and regional projects mostly in the energy, transport, ICT and water sectors.

With project development and equity financing divisions, Africa50 can provide support at every stage of project cycles and has a capital base that should reach $1 billion in early 2017 while the medium-term target has been raised to $3 billion.