British International Investment (BII) has announced a significant investment agreement with Meridiam, aiming to bolster hydropower and wind power capacity in Tanzania. The agreement, signed today, commits $15 million to the Meridiam-owned Rift Valley Energy (RVE), with a potential increase to $25 million, to support the installation of an additional 7.6MW of renewable energy for Tanzania’s national grid.

This investment is part of a broader strategy to expand sustainable energy access in the region. The hydropower projects, alongside new wind energy installations, are set to provide reliable electricity to approximately 170,000 people annually and connect 4,000 businesses and households to the grid for the first time. The initiative is expected to generate 1,800 new jobs and reduce carbon emissions by up to 17,000 tonnes per year by 2027.

Nick O’Donohoe, BII’s Chief Executive Officer, emphasized the transformative potential of this project: “Millions of people in Tanzania do not have access to energy and this greatly impacts their ability to access essential services and opportunities. This agreement with Meridiam to support Rift Valley Energy will improve the lives of thousands of people in rural Tanzania as the energy it will provide will empower many sectors which will help to enhance educational opportunities, healthcare services, job creation and industrial productivity.”

Rift Valley Energy, a Tanzanian renewable energy infrastructure company, is wholly owned by Meridiam. Since its acquisition in 2023, Meridiam has been focused on expanding RVE’s generation assets, which currently include a 30MW portfolio of renewable energy projects and the operation of two rural distribution networks spanning 460 kilometers in the Southern Highlands of Tanzania.

Mathieu Peller, Meridiam’s Deputy CEO and Africa Head, highlighted the alignment of this project with Meridiam’s core mission: “Rift Valley Energy is an investment which is true to Meridiam’s mandate and purpose, and we are pleased to partner with BII to grow the renewable energy projects being developed by the company. This facility affirms our confidence in Tanzania as a market, where the Government has clear and ambitious economic development plans which we look forward to supporting through sustainable investment.”

The national electrification rate in Tanzania is currently 37%, with rural areas lagging at just 24%. The hydropower projects funded by BII and Meridiam aim to address this disparity by providing clean and affordable power to local industries, including factories processing tea, veneer, timber, and plants for water and pole treatment.

BII’s longstanding commitment to East Africa is underscored by its current $1.4 billion portfolio in the region, which supports private sector growth through innovative financing solutions and strategic partnerships.