American Capital to Invest in Senegal’s First Wind Project

Private equity firm American Capital Energy & Infrastructure said it will invest in a 151.8-megawatt wind farm in Senegal, which will be the country’s first industrial-scale wind project and the largest in West Africa.

The project will help the country reduce its reliance on high-cost oil-fired power generation.  The total capital cost of this facility is estimated at €305 million, with ACEI anticipating to provide an estimated €76 million of equity and the remainder expected from lenders.

The project will be located in Taiba Ndiaye in Senegal, approximately 75 kilometres northwest of Dakar.  It is expected to be a significant component in the Senegalese government’s plans to improve energy security by diversifying its energy mix and enhancing the use of renewable energy to meet the country’s rapid energy demand.

Power from the project will be sold to Societe Nationale d’Electricite du Senegal, the national utility company of Senegal, under a 20-year power-purchase agreement signed in December 2013.  The project has been developed by Sarreole, a French based team, and ACEI will work with Sarreole, funding development costs and project equity.

Construction on the plant is scheduled over three years in three phases of 50.8MW.  Chapin International & Co is acting as the project development and financial advisor for the project.

“This project makes a lot of sense for Senegal – both from an economic as well as an environmental standpoint,” said Paul Hanrahan, CEO and co-founder of ACEI. “Senegal’s impressive economic growth requires more electric generating capacity to be built as its electrification rate is well above average for the Sub-Saharan region.

“ In addition, the Senegalese Government has stated that it is committed to shifting from diesel-based power generation to lower-cost energy sources, such as wind power, to lower the cost of electricity, and has taken steps to further reform its electricity sector in a way that makes it an attractive place to invest.  And because this is a priority project under President Macky Sall’s Plan Emergent Senegal, dedicated to accelerating the country’s economic growth, we are confident that the project will move ahead quickly.”

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