GreenWish to build $280m solar plants in Nigeria

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’Femi Asu with agency report

Greenwish Partners, a Paris-based independent power producer, will invest $280m to build solar power plants in Nigeria that are expected to start producing electricity in the first quarter of next year.

A plant in Enugu State will produce 100 megawatts, while the company will build two others of 50MW each in Kaduna and Jigawa states, the company’s Chief Executive Officer, Charlotte Aubin-Kalaidjian, said in an interview with Bloomberg in Lagos.

She said the project would be funded 70 per cent through debt and 30 per cent through equity, and provide power to 2.5 million people on completion.

“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,” Aubin-Kalaidjian said.

Nigeria faces an 8,000MW energy shortfall, having capacity to generate only about 4,500MW of electricity.

Most plans for new capacity focused on using natural gas from the southern petroleum region until the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, introduced a framework to accommodate solar power producers last year.

That has resulted in a power purchase agreement with the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Plc, the clearing house of the nation’s electricity market, to enable GreenWish to sell to the national grid.

The transactions are in naira but denominated in dollars to hedge against naira-value fluctuations, Aubin-Kalaidjian said.

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