Under the agreement Climate Fund Managers (CFM) will co-develop a private renewable energy generation and distribution sub-franchise project in Kaduna, Nigeria.
The project is to be jointly developed with Konexa, who have more than 30 years’ experience investing in and developing projects in the African energy sector. Konexa has partnered with the Kaduna Electric Distribution Company (KAEDCO), a distribution company (DisCo) in the Northern Nigerian state of Kaduna, to address some core challenges of the Nigerian Energy Sector through a long-term sub-franchise agreement. Phase 1 of the project will consist of the development and construction of a 2.5MW solar PV plant with the potential to include a storage component, construction of 8 solar mini-grids and associated distribution works, roll out of solar home systems, deployment of smart metering infrastructure and an integrated cutting edge information and operations technology platform, grid network upgrades, as well as securing energy supply from nearby existing renewable generation assets. This integrated approach, requiring an investment of approximately US$50m, will enable Konexa to serve the entire range of customers in its sub-franchise area – from large commercial and industrial customers that currently cannot rely on the DisCo due to supply reliability and quality issues, to small rural customers that are not viable to be reached by the grid.
The Nigerian Energy Sector is notable for its significant energy deficit which has hindered economic growth for many years. At present, 80 million people lack access to grid electricity, with the national electrification rate at 47% percent. This is much worse in rural areas. Lack of access to grid power has resulted in around 55% of the population resorting to self-generation and has created a US$15 billion off-grid market that is primarily fossil-fuel based. The Federal Government of Nigeria launched a far-reaching set of power reforms in 2001 that led to the unbundling and subsequent privatization of electricity and distribution companies in 2013. The primary objective was to create a competitive and efficient power sector led by the private sector and regulated by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission. The eligible customer regulation ratified on 2017 states that customers with energy demand of more than 2MWh/h per month can directly buy power from a grid connected Genco at a mutually agreed price, which has since spurred growth in the Nigerian IPP market.
The project gives Climate Investor One (CI1) the opportunity to contribute towards Nigeria’s grid stability, accelerate Nigeria’s Energy sector reforms and demonstrate the private sub-franchise model. CI1’s all equity solution and technical expertise bridge development gaps and expedite project completion. Successful implementation of Nigeria’s first integrated distribution model will pave the way for further opportunities like this not only in Nigeria, but across the region.
Sebastiaan Surie, CFM’s head of investments for the African region, stated: “CI1’s partnership with Konexa represents a promising opportunity to enter the Nigerian energy sector and build out the county’s renewable energy capacity. The experience of the Konexa team in the African Energy sector, combined with CFMs technical, E&S, and financial aptitude represents a fantastic opportunity to develop a high impact renewable energy project in a key market for CFM.”
Pradeep Pursnani, Konexa’s CEO highlighted the importance of this partnership to drive the reforms and investment needed in the distribution sector. “We are proud to be partnering with CFM on this innovative project that has the potential to catalyse large scale private sector investment to make the distribution sector in Nigeria financially viable and sustainable. This project can have a transformational impact on the overall power sector in the country and the lives of many Nigerians that need to access affordable and reliable power for their homes and businesses. I am hugely grateful to the Konexa team and our partners Olaniwun Ajayi and Zutari who have been working tirelessly on this initiative for almost two years to be Nigeria’s first distribution franchise approved by the regulator. We have also been lucky to receive a lot of support from donors like Shell Foundation and Rockefeller Foundation, the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office and Power Africa and now with the CFM support we can complete some of the essential pieces of work to get us to financial close in early 2021.”
Konexa is a United Kingdom / Nigerian energy developer specialising in renewable energy infrastructure. Konexa is owned by the CEO & Founder Pradeep Pursnani, the Founding Management Team, and Private Equity Firm Industry Capital. Konexa’s management team has in excess of 30 years’ experience working in the investment and development of energy generation, transmission and distribution infrastructure and technology.
About Kaduna Electric
Kaduna Electric is the operator of Kaduna Electricity Distribution Company (KAEDCO). It is one of the 11 distribution companies created following the unbundling and subsequent privatization of the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN). It is responsible for retail distribution and marketing of electricity in Kaduna, Kebbi, Sokoto and Zamfara States.
About 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.
Climate Investor One (CI1) is the inaugural facility managed by CFM, focused on providing capital to renewable energy projects in developing countries. CI1 has a focus on Africa, South & Southeast Asia, and Latin America, and uses a whole-of-life financing approach intended to reduce implementation timelines. The facility also enjoys support from the EU through its External Investment Plan, a part of its wider commitment to sustainable development and climate change mitigation, as well as cornerstone support from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, the Nordic Development Fund (NDF) and USAID’s Power Africa programme.