Paris-based independent power producer, GreenWish Partners, will finance solar-power plants in Nigeria with $280 million, its CEO, Charlotte Aubin-Kalaidjian, has disclosed.
Aubin-Kalaidjian, told Bloomberg recently that the firm would build the plants – 100mw in Enugu, south east of Nigeria; and 50mw apiece in northern states of Jigawa and Kaduna.
The plants are expected to start producing electricity in the first quarter of 2018, Aubin-Kalaidjian stated.
The project, she explained will be funded 70 per cent through debt and 30 per cent through equity and would on completion provide power to 2.5 million people.
While authorities in Nigeria appear sluggish in taking steps that could help the country segue to improved and predictable power supply using renewable sources like solar, Aubin-Kalaidjian expressed confidence with the firm’s investment commitment to Nigeria.
She said: “We only take risks where solar makes sense, where it is competitive and where there is political support. This government is very committed to developing power and renewables, especially in regions where there is no gas available.”
Nigeria is Africa’s most populous country with about 180 million people, out of which more than 50 per cent do not have access to electricity.
While she produces circa 4500mw of electricity, 80 per cent of which comes from gas power plants, she has however failed to take advantage of her rich solar radiation. The country has an average of 12 hour daily sunlight, yet a framework to accommodate solar-power producers has not been fittingly spelt out by the government which signed power purchase agreements with 14 solar investors in 2016.
GreenWish was founded in 2014, and focuses on Africa. Aubin-Kalaidjian, however said it currently has a pipeline of more than 1,000mw of solar projects with industrial partners across West Africa.