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Pioneering Solar Project in Chad Attracts New Lenders

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The African Development Bank (AfDB), Proparco, and Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (EAIF), a part of the Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG), have committed €36.6 million funds for the construction of the Djermaya Solar project in Chad. The 34 MW project will also include a 4MWh battery system.

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AfDB, Proparco, and EAIF signed a loan agreement with the Djermaya solar project, providing the financing facility of €18 million, €9.3 million, and €9.3 million, respectively, as the senior debt to the project. AfDB previously approved €18 million debt facilities and a partial risk guarantee in the year 2019.

The Djermaya Solar Power Station has been developed by InfraCo Africa (a part of PIDG), through Anergi Africa Developments Ltd (AADL), along with its French IPP partner Smart Energies. Recently, Denham Capital entered the project as an investor through project developer Neo Themis.

Fatou Gaye, InfraCo Africa’s Business Development Manager said that the determination of the project partners, government agencies, and the national utility – Société Nationale d’Electricité (SNE), along with the lenders make possible for Djermaya Solar to demonstrate the potential of solar energy in Chad and support sustainable economic development.

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The funding forms a part of the overall package of climate commitments PIDG promised at COP26 in November. The solar project is also a part of AfDB’s Desert to Power initiative.

Kevin Kariuki, AfDB Vice President for Power, Energy, and Climate Change mentioned the project to be the first solar power plant in Chad, as well as the first public-private partnership (PPP) in the form of an IPP in the country. This project model will be replicated in other Sahelian countries under the Desert to Power Initiative in order to accelerate the transition to renewable energy.

Paromita Chatterjee, an Investment Director at EAIF commented, “The Djermaya project is particularly significant because it is pioneering renewable energy and battery storage in Chad. Its key strategic function is to help Chad unlock the country’s economic potential and to fly the flag for more green energy projects in the country.”

Located near the capital city of N’Djamena, Djermaya Solar Power Station is expected to begin delivering power to the national grid in 2023. The project will be developed in two phases totaling 60 MW, incorporating a 4MWh battery system, 18km transmission line, and a substation funded with €6.35 million of concessional debt from the EU-Africa Infrastructure Trust Fund (EU-AITF).

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InfraCo Africa has also leveraged €760,000 of a grant from PIDG Technical Assistance (PIDG TA) to support legal and environmental advisory services. The project company, Djermaya CDEN Energy (DCE), has signed a 20-year PPA with SNE to supply Chad’s national electricity utility.

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