Senegal power-plant project gets first payment in financing deal

Cap des Biches power plant
Cap des Biches power plant | Contributed photo
The Cap des Biches power plant in Senegal recently received the first disbursement of $91 million in financing from U.S.-based international power company ContourGlobal and its partners, Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) and International Finance Corporation (IFC).

This first payment is part of an 18-year financing deal signed by the aforementioned parties last month.

The Cap des Biches project was announced by parent company Senelec in 2014, and it is anticipated that commercial operations should commence by May 2016. The plant's construction has created 270 jobs. Once the plant is up and running, 45 people will have permanent jobs there.

"The price offered by ContourGlobal is extremely attractive and is a shot in the arm for Senelec's finances," Senelec Director General Mouhamadou Makhtar Cisse said.

Joseph Brandt, president and CEO of ContourGlobal, said ContourGlobal's aim was "to bring basic infrastructure to the world's neediest countries."

"Led by (U.S.) President Obama's Power Africa initiative and national plans such as (Senegal) President Macky Sall's 'Plan Senegal Emergent,' the past three years have seen an unprecedented mobilization of capability and capital to transform the African power sector," Brandt said.

Bertrand de la Borde, IFC head of infrastructure for the Africa region, agreed.

"IFC is committed to improving access to energy across Africa, and the rapid disbursement for the Cap des Biches project is a significant step toward that end for Senegal," de la Borde said. "IFC continues to devise innovative, customized approaches to enable private-sector operators such as Contour Global to play a bigger role in delivering high-quality energy installations to address the demand for electricity on the continent."

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