American Capital Energy & Infrastructure ("ACEI") announced today a commitment to invest in Senegal's first industrial-scale wind power project and the largest wind farm planned 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 senior and mezzanine lenders.
The project is a 151.8MW wind farm under development, which will be located in Taiba Ndiaye in Senegal, approximately 75km 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 Senelec (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 S.a.r.l. ("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.
Mr. Paul Hanrahan, CEO and co-founder of ACEI, said, "This project makes a lot of sense for Senegal - both from an economic as well as an environmental standpoint. 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."
American Capital Energy & Infrastructure is a global leader in the management of investments in global energy infrastructure assets, including power generation facilities, power distribution and transmission networks as well as product and service companies focused on the power and energy sectors. In addition to the Taiba Ndiaye investment, ACEI recently closed the financing of a 36MW wind farm in Jamaica, which began construction earlier this year and will also add low-cost wind-powered electricity to help diversify away from high-cost diesel generation. For further information, please refer to the press release: www.acei.com/news/pr20150126. ACEI has also invested in Azura Power Holdings Ltd., the company responsible for developing the 450MW open cycle gas turbine in Edo State, Nigeria and additional greenfield and brownfield assets in West Africa. For further information, please refer to the press release: www.acei.com/news/pr20131205.
Ms. Lisa Pinsley, ACEI Director of Africa investments, said, "We are excited to announce our investment in this project. ACEI is a founding partner of Power Africa, a United States Government initiative launched by President Obama that is focused on supporting economic growth and development in Africa by increasing clean and reliable access to electrical power. Through the Power Africa initiative, we look forward to partnering with the Overseas Private Investment Corporation as lead lender and leveraging the diverse toolkit of the Power Africa initiative to support the Project, the utility and the Senegalese economy. ACEI has been actively pursuing investments in African power companies to originate, develop, finance and operate regional energy infrastructure assets in West Africa and we look forward to seeing this project coming to fruition."
ABOUT AMERICAN CAPITAL ENERGY & INFRASTRUCTURE
American Capital Energy & Infrastructure manages investments in global energy infrastructure assets, including power generation facilities, power distribution and transmission networks, energy transportation assets, fuel production opportunities and product and service companies focused on the power and energy sectors. ACEI is part of American Capital, Ltd.'s (Nasdaq: ACAS) ("American Capital") asset management affiliate, American Capital Asset Management, LLC. For further information, please refer to www.ACEI.com.
ABOUT AMERICAN CAPITAL
American Capital, Ltd. (Nasdaq: ACAS) is a publicly traded private equity firm and global asset manager. American Capital, both directly and through its asset management business, originates, underwrites and manages investments in middle market private equity, leveraged finance, real estate, energy & infrastructure and structured products. American Capital manages $23 billion of assets, including assets on its balance sheet and fee earning assets under management by affiliated managers, with $92 billion of total assets under management (including levered assets). Through a wholly owned affiliate, American Capital manages publicly traded American Capital Agency Corp. (Nasdaq: AGNC), American Capital Mortgage Investment Corp. (Nasdaq: MTGE) and American Capital Senior Floating, Ltd. (Nasdaq: ACSF) with approximately $11 billion of total net book value. From its eight offices in the U.S., Europe and Asia, American Capital and its wholly owned affiliate, European Capital, will consider investment opportunities from $10 million to $600 million. For further information, please refer to www.AmericanCapital.com.
Sarreole Sarl is a French based developer of wind energy and solar projects primarily in France. Most recently, however, it has been the lead developer of the Taiba wind energy project in Senegal. Sarreole has permitted more than 20 renewable energy projects representing more than 240 megawatts and has a strong background in the processes necessary to coordinate the permitting of projects in multiple environments and to ensure that a project meets the highest standards.
ABOUT CHAPIN INTERNATIONAL & CO
Founded in 2003, Chapin International is a development and project finance advisory boutique primarily focused on renewable energy projects in Africa and other emerging markets. To date Chapin has been involved in more than 25 renewable energy transactions globally with a value in excess of €2 billion. For further information please refer to www.chapininternational.com.