Scatec Solar has signed a Joint Development Agreement (JDA) with Africa50, an African Infrastructure Fund sponsored by the African Development Bank and more than 20 African States and Norfund (the Norwegian Investment Fund for Development Countries), securing investment into the 100 MW (DC) Nova Scotia Power plant located in Dutse in the Northern Nigerian state of Jigawa.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, which was held in the presence of the visiting Norwegian Foreign Minister, Børge Brende, Jigawa Deputy Governor, Barrister Ibrahim Hassan Hadejia, said: “New local power generation capacity is a key element to attract sizeable investment into the State and region, especially into new industries such as light manufacturing and agricultural processing
Meanwhile, Executive Vice President, Terje Pilskog who signed the JDA on behalf of Scatec Solar said: “The formation of this consortium is a strong symbol of the Norwegian and Nigerian commitment to invest in clean energy in Nigeria.
“With the Government of Norway taking a direct investment role through Norfund, significant regional and Nigerian ownership through Africa50, and the track-record of Scatec Solar, this offers one of the most solid partnerships for solar PV projects globally”
“I am pleased that Africa50 is already making its first investment, which fits in squarely with our priority to light up and power Africa,” declared, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank (AfDB) and Chairman of Africa50’s Board of Directors.
In a related develpment, Africa50’s CEO, Alain Ebobisse has noted that: “Access to reliable energy is one of the most critical needs in Africa, including in Nigeria, where it is a government priority. I look forward to deepening the relationship with the authorities of Nigeria, one of our key shareholder countries, and to supporting more projects in this and other infrastructure sectors.”
Apart from the three equity investors, the American Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), Islamic Development Bank and the African Development Bank are expected to be senior debt providers for the project.
With an estimated investment of USD 150 million, a production of 200,000 MWh of electricity per year and 120,000 tons of CO2 emissions avoided annually, it is hoped that the Nova Scotia solar plant will help Nigeria rapidly increase its generation capacity, provide economic opportunities, fight desertification caused by climate change, and contribute to fulfilling Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari’s commitments to develop renewable energy as part of the Paris Climate Change Agreement.
It would be recalled that In July, the Nova Scotia project signed a 20-year PPA with Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading (NBET). Located on 200 hectares of land, the project has strong fundamentals with high solar resources and direct access to the transmission grid through a simple connection route.
However, the consortium will continue to work with CDIL, a Canadian renewable energy development company focused on Africa, and BPS, a Nigerian strategic consulting, to move the project from “pipeline” and achieve financial close in 2017 and commercial operations in 2018.