Mali to build solar photovoltaic plant

Mali has secured a US$25 million concessional loan from the African Development Bank (AfDB) to fund its first utility-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) power plant.

The Segou Solar PV Project, one of the first in Sub-Saharan Africa, consists of the design, construction and operations of a 33 MW power plant.

According to AfDB, the transformational project will lead to a direct increase in Mali’s installed capacity from a renewable resource and will generate 52.7 GWh annually (approximately 10% of the current generation capacity) over 25 years for a lifetime output of 1,316.75 GWh.

The project will be funded by the Programme for Scaling Up Renewable Energy in Low Income Countries (SREP) of the Climate Investment Funds (CIF) with co-financing from the AfDB (US $8.4 million) and International Finance Corporation (US $8.4 million).

Established in 2008 as one of the largest fast-tracked climate financing instruments in the world, the US $8.3-billion CIF provides developing countries with grants, concessional loans, risk mitigation instruments, and equity that leverage significant financing from the private sector, Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) and other sources.

The project will be implemented by a Special Purpose Vehicle that will be fully owned by the private sector under a 25-year Build, Own, Operate and Transfer Concession Agreement with the Government of Mali and a 25-year power purchase agreement with Mali’s national utility, Énergie du Mali.