Off-grid renewable energy provider, Bboxx has secured a loan of KSh 1.6 billion (~ USD 14 million) from SBM Bank (Kenya) Ltd., to provide clean and affordable energy to nearly half a million people in Kenya, through off-grid solar home systems. GuarantCo, a part of the Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG), has provided a partial guarantee of 75% against the loan facility.
The fund will be utilized by Bboxx Kenya to buy new inventory over the next two years including 89,600 solar home systems and other essential home appliances. The equipment will serve 470,000 people mostly living in rural areas of the country, where 38% of people still lack access to electricity.
This transaction is the largest single loan raised by Bboxx Kenya and it will enable the company to create a hundred new long-term jobs, with an effort to provide more opportunities for women in the process.
Bboxx CEO Mansoor Hamayun said, “We are very pleased to partner with GuarantCo and SBM Bank to accelerate access to clean, reliable, and affordable energy to hundreds of thousands of Kenyans. This fund marks a big milestone in our industry’s history. This transaction shows what is possible to achieve when forging partnerships between different stakeholders to mobilize private capital to the energy sector.”
The partnership will allow Bboxx to expand its services to more remote regions of Kenya and work with the government, through its KOSAP program that aims to bring electricity to underserved communities. The loan will support the country’s broader push towards electrification, notably through solar home systems and mini-grids, with an ambition to establish two million new connections by 2022.
Jotham Mutoka, the Deputy CEO of SBM Bank Kenya, said the bank is keen to work towards achieving Sustainable Development Goal 7 on access to clean energy. The bank provides sustainable finance, especially the renewable energy space to its clients to encourage the growth of the energy sector in Kenya. Through the loan, he envisions the school children being able to access electricity at their home, which will uplift the social-economic status of the community leading to a smarter tomorrow.
Emily Bushby, COO/CFO of GuarantCo, noted the solar home systems transaction as their first off-grid solar project in Kenya. GuarantCo is proud to support the Kenyan government in its ambition to grow the country’s off-grid capabilities and improve clean energy solutions for local people while involving the private sector.