SUPPORTING DJIBOUTI TO MEET ENERGY DEMANDS AND TRANSITION TOWARDS 100% RENEWABLE ENERGY-BASED ELECTRICITY PRODUCTION BY 2030
Africa Finance Corporation (AFC), Climate Fund Managers (CFM), FMO, the Dutch entrepreneurial development bank and Great Horn Investment Holdings (GHIH) are pleased to announce a landmark investment for the construction and operation of a 60MW windfarm in the Ghoubet area, near Lake Assal in Djibouti.
Djibouti is a country with expanding energy needs, located in the Horn of Africa and spanning over 23,000 km2. The country is dependent on domestic thermal power production and imports from Ethiopia for its electricity consumption and is in need of domestic renewable energy capacity addition. Djibouti’s electricity demand is expected to considerably increase due to various large-scale infrastructure projects including ports, free trade zones and railways that the government has undertaken. The country aims to transition towards 100% renewable energy-based electricity production and reduce its emissions by 40% by 2030.
A Joint Investment
Development of the 60MW wind project kicked-off in 2017 by AFC, CFM, as manager to Climate Investor One’s (CIO) Construction Equity Fund, FMO (together “the Consortium”) and local developer Great Horn Investment Holdings (GHIH). Institutional expertise of individual Consortium members played a defining role in the Project’s development. AFC, being an experienced developer and financier of infrastructure and renewable energy projects, took the lead developer and project manager role. CFM, a leading blended finance fund manager, took the co-developer and the technical lead role due to their financing and technical expertise. FMO has been responsible for Insurance and Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG). GHIH provided local support in terms of engagement with the Government. The project is owned and operated by Red Sea Power Limited SAS, a Djibouti-based limited liability company. The project is expected to have its commercial operations start in 2022.
Strategic Partnership within Djibouti’s Renewable Energy Sector
Samaila Zubairu, President and CEO at AFC commented : “Renewable energy is a key focus within our investment strategy, and this project will not only be a unique opportunity within our portfolio but will also have a significant impact on Djibouti’s energy generation, improving their reliance on HFO. We are very pleased with this opportunity to be the lead developer and investor, alongside our co-investors FMO and CIO, as we use our experience from the Cabeolica wind farm project, which has been operational for six years.”
“Developing long term strategic partnerships that ensures sustainable development of projects such as the 60MW Djibouti Wind Farm Project, remains at the cornerstone of AFC’s strategy”, says Oliver Andrews, Chief Investment Officer at AFC. “The partnership and innovation have resulted in many firsts being achieved on the project: the first grid scale IPP in the country, all sponsor bridge financing to accelerate the development of the project to mention a few.”
“The investment in Djibouti Wind is a perfect fit with FMO’s strategy because of its contribution to the company’s impact and CO2-reduction goals. This project will significantly reduce GHG emissions in the HFO dominated (90%) electricity sector of Djibouti,” said Jaap Reinking, Director Private Equity of FMO. “We are proud to coinvest in this project with our strategic partners AFC and CFM. The project benefits from the technical expertise of CFM and the project management and local knowledge and network of AFC. Together with FMO as ESG partner and GHIH as local partner the four consortium partners are truly complementary.”
“We are pleased to see this pioneering windfarm transition into construction, having co-developed the project since 2017,” said Tarun Brahma, Director and Head of Investments at CFM. “This project will help to facilitate a clean energy shift in Djibouti by providing sustainable energy and reducing the reliance on domestic thermal power production and power imports. The project, with thanks to our fellow consortium partners, is now positioned to assist the Government of Djibouti in meeting its ambitious emissions reduction targets.”
Aboubaker Omar Hadi, Chairman of GHIH commented: “A social and economic development cannot be achieved without a reliable, affordable, competitive and cost-effective energy solution. With the ports, the railway, industries and other transport infrastructure projects we have developed and developing, the availability of such energy is of paramount importance, in order to ensure the gains are consolidated. The Djibouti International Free Trade Zone (DIFTZ), set to become the biggest in Africa along with the Damerjog heavy industrial park will both create, a demand of 3,700 MW over the coming decade. This gap can only be closed if the huge untapped potential of renewable energy in our country, such as solar, geothermal or wind are fully exploited.
In line with that objective, this project constitutes a very important milestone as it will boost the supply side by securing a very competitive energy that will foster the industrialization. It equally contributes to the country’s strategic direction to shift to a 100% green energy generation. We are, therefore, very pleased to have partnered with the consortium in this venture and remain fully confident on the various impact of this project in tackling the energy challenges and reducing the reliance on other high cost or unstable source of power generation.’’
Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) is an Africa-focused infrastructure financial institution. AFC is a project developer, provides advisory services, equity, mezzanine financing and long-term debt to various projects across Africa. AFC combines its in-house technical and structuring capability with a willingness to commit its balance sheet. Its hybrid business model combines public and private ownership, country membership and a private sector governance and decision-making structure. AFC’s deep understanding of African governments and its influence in Djibouti was proven to be instrumental in realizing this project.
FMO (the Netherlands Development Finance Company) is the Dutch development bank. FMO supports sustainable private sector growth in developing and emerging markets by investing in ambitious entrepreneurs. FMO believes a strong private sector leads to economic and social development, empowering people to employ their skills and improve their quality of life. FMO focuses on three sectors that have high development impact: financial institutions, energy, and agribusiness, food & water. With an investment portfolio of EUR 6.6 billion, FMO is one of the largest European bilateral private sector development banks.
Great Horn Investment Holdings (“GHIH”) is the wholly owned subsidiary of The Djibouti Ports and Free Zones Authority (“DPFZA”) and holds the mandate to set up joint ventures with private sector partners to develop infrastructure including maritime, aviation and energy projects in Djibouti. The Djibouti Ports and Free Zones Authority (“DPFZA”) is the governing authority that sets the rules, directives and overarching principles for the efficient running of the current, and future ports and free zones in Djibouti. The DPFZA comes under the direct authority of the Djibouti Presidential Office.
Climate Fund Managers (CFM) is a leading blended finance fund manager dedicated to securing a sustainable future through investing across global emerging markets. CFM has a long-term vision to structure cutting edge financing facilities around thematic areas of climate change mitigation and adaptation, including renewable energy, water and oceans, sustainable land use and sustainable cities. CFM is established as a joint venture between the Dutch development bank FMO and Sanlam InfraWorks – part of the Sanlam Group of South Africa. CFM manages Climate Investor One (CIO), a complete-lifecycle-financing facility which is supported by the EU through its External Investment Plan, a part of its wider commitment to sustainable development and climate change mitigation, as well as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, the Nordic Development Fund (NDF) and USAID via Power Africa.