The Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (EAIF), a Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG) company, has agreed to lend €25 million to Ivoire Hydro Energy (IHE) to help build a 44MW hydroelectric plant on the Bandama River near the village of Singrobo in Côte d’Ivoire. 

Expected to take three years to build, the Singrobo plant – the country’s first hydroelectric development by an independent power producer – will cost an estimated €174 million to develop, and financial close is expected in late Q3 2021.  A long-term power purchase agreement will see all of the energy produced by the plant sold to Compagnie Ivoirienne d’Electricité, the operator of Côte d’Ivoire’s national grid. The new plant will be an important strategic economic asset for Côte d’Ivoire. In addition to adding to the country’s generation capacity, the plant enhances the system’s flexibility, meaning it may be called in to meet baseload demand as well as peak demand.

The African Development Bank (AfDB) acted as the mandated lead arranger of the debt finance and will be a senior lender in its own right. In addition to AfDB and EAIF, the other lenders are the German international development agency, DEG and the Africa Finance Corporation (AFC). 25% of the project cost is funded by equity from the project’s shareholders, IHE Holding, the Africa Finance Corporation and DIPFA, a Denham Capital owned international investment platform for power projects.  Neo Themis SARL is advising and acting for the shareholders in relation to finalising the project’s development and the financing agreements.

The main infrastructure at the plant will include a 27m high, 1025m long rockfill dam on the right bank and a 27m high, 150m long concrete dam on the left bank. It will feature a reservoir with an area of maximum 19.6km2 and a volume of approximately 105hm3; two 5m diameter penstocks; a 1.3km long and 3m wide tailrace channel; a powerhouse with two horizontal 22MW Kaplan turbines supplied by GE/ Alstom; 3km of access roads; camp site facilities comprising construction facilities and a permanent O&M camp site; and a 4km 90kV transmission line and substation to connect to the hydropower plant to the existing Taabo-Agboville transmission line.