Hydroneo Afrique, a wholly-owned subsidiary of hydro equipment developer Mecamidi, has partnered with African Infrastructure Investment Managers (AIIM), a subsidiary of Macquarie and OldMutual Investment Group, in a bid to develop a pipeline of hydropower plants across Africa.

The two companies intend to establish a 50/50 joint venture that will develop, finance, build, own and operate a number of small hydro power plants in Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Mozambique and others.

With a total investment of approximately US$500 million, these projects are expected to represent an installed capacity of 200MW over the next five years.

"This partnership represents an attractive opportunity to support the development of a pan-African infrastructure platform," said AIIM CEO, Jurie Swart. "Africa has extensive untapped hydro power potential and small hydro power plants would be a holistic solution to Africa’s growing energy-generation capacity gaps."

"Following the success of the first set of investments in East Africa and several projects currently in development across Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda, Mecamidi – through its affiliate Hydroneo Afrique – is thrilled to partner with AIIM, a well-established leader in infrastructure investment, to jumpstart Sub-Saharan Africa’s hydropower industry," added Hydroneo Afrique CEO, Samuel Zekri. "This strategic alliance will allow us to make the most out of the region’s great hydro potential and address its ever growing energy need."