Chad’s first solar-plus-storage project secures funding

The development entity driving the first stage of a planned 60 MW solar plant has announced a doubling in the amount of borrowing secured for a project which was supposed to be operational in 2018.

December 6, 2021

A fresh injection of debt from two organizations backed by five European governments has brought forward the long-delayed Djermaya solar-plus-storage project in Chad.

London-based development body InfraCo Africa – which is funded by the governments of the U.K., the Netherlands, and Switzerland – on Friday revealed a deal had been signed in Paris last month to more than double the amount of borrowing secured for the planned 34 MW solar project 30km north of Chadian capital N’Djamena, which will also include 4 MWh of battery storage.

With the African Development Bank (AfDB) having already committed €18 million for a project which, as pv magazine reported in October 2019, had originally been supposed to be fully financed in 2017, and operational in 2018, a further €18.6 million of borrowings was confirmed ten days ago.

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The December edition of pv magazine will hit the streets tomorrow. Read about the kinks in the global supply chain which, like the mixed-bag outcome of COP26, have kept a significant portion of this year’s progress tangled up. But we find more to celebrate than condemn, for 2021 has been another record year for solar installations, and the forecasts for 2022 look even more promising.

Proparco, the private-sector arm of French development body the Agence Française de Développement, will lend €9.3 million to the project, InfraCo said, and that loan was matched by the Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund, which is financed by the governments of the U.K., the Netherlands, Switzerland and Sweden, and which borrows capital from public and private sources to on-lend to projects.

InfraCo said Boston-based energy private equity investor Denham Capital has also come on board as a “long-term investor,” via Casablanca-based, sub-Saharan Africa focused renewables developer Neo Themis. InfraCo did not specify Denham’s financial commitment but Fatou Gaye, InfraCo’s business development manager for the Chadian project, quoted in Friday’s press release, said Denham and Neo Themis will “progress the project through to construction and operations in the coming months.”

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With pv magazine having previously reported the first phase of Djermaya would have a generation capacity of 32 MW, rather than 34 MW, and that the project would be sited in N’Djamena, rather than 30km north, InfraCo on Friday confirmed the first generation and storage capacity at the site would be part of a two-phase project which would eventually boast 60 MW of solar capacity.

The terms of the power purchase agreement (PPA) signed by Chadian national utility Société Nationale d’Electricité also appear to have changed. pv magazine in 2019 reported the power company had agreed to purchase the power generated by Djermaya for 25 years but InfraCo on Friday referred to a 20-year contract.

InfraCo said it had developed the solar-plus-storage project via the Anergi Group African power company owned by the AfDB’s Pan-African Infrastructure Development Fund, which is managed by South African infrastructure developer Harith General Partners. London-based InfraCo also named French energy company Smart Energies as its development partner.

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