Cenpower Generation, a special-purpose vehicle created to develop the Kpone independent power plant (KIPP), in the Tema industrial zone has announced the financial close of the required $900-million in project finance.

CenpowerCenpower in a statement said the project finance comprises two components: a US$ 650 million debt tranche and a US$ 250 million equity tranche.

The debt is being funded under export credit cover by a consortium of South African commercial banks and international Development Finance Institutions (DFIs).

Rand Merchant Bank acted as the Global Lead Bank and Mandated Lead Arranger for the commercial banking tranche while Nedbank and Standard Bank were involved as mandated lead arrangers.

The Nederlandse Financierings-Maatschappij voor Ontwikkelings Landen (FMO), or the Dutch Development Bank, had acted as the mandated arranger for the DFI tranche.

Through the equity raising, three leading investment groups, Sumitomo Corporation of Japan, African Infrastructure Investment Fund II and FMO will be joining the equity consortium, whilst InfraCo, the principal project co-developer since inception, will be exiting.

Post-financial close, the equity holders in Cenpower now are AFC Equity Investments Limited (a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Africa Finance Corporation (?AFC?) (31.85%), Cenpower Holdings Limited (21%), a consortium of Ghanaian investors, (21%), Sumitomo Corporation (28%), Mercury Power (15%) and FMO (4.15%).

When it comes on stream in 2017, the KIPP project would be the largest independent power producer in the country, accounting for some 10% of Ghana?s total installed capacity and around 20% of its available thermal-generation capacity.

As a combined-cycle gas turbine plant, it would be among Ghana?s most fuel-efficient thermal power stations, becoming a critical base-load component in meeting Ghana?s growing electricity demand.

Oliver Andrews, AFC?s Executive Director and Chief Investment Officer and Cenpower Project Director, described the project as ?a shining example of Africa?s public and private sectors partnership.

?Moreover, the fact that a near US$1 billion transaction has been largely financed by African institutions reflects the growing capacity of indigenous lenders and equity investors to begin to address Africa?s ongoing infrastructure deficit,? he said.

Wada Tomoyuki, Senior Project Manager, Sumitomo Corporation, observed: ?Sub-Saharan Africa is growing in strategic importance for us. In backing the Cenpower project, we look forward not only to providing our technological know-how and experience, but also to contributing to Ghana?s development.?

Ebbe Hamilton, Partner at eleQtra, said: ?In exiting this groundbreaking project, Infraco and eleQtra are delighted to be able to facilitate the entry of such blue-chip investors as Sumitomo, AIIM and FMO. We are very proud to have been a key member of the development team of this truly African project.?

?FMO is delighted to become an equity stakeholder in Cenpower,? added Janos Bonta, the Dutch Development Bank?s Senior Investment Officer. ?The KIPP project will provide Ghana with reliable and affordable power going forward, thereby improving the levels of electrification across the country, and, as such, is very much in line with our strategic mission.?

Samuel Brew-Butler, Chairman of Cenpower, concluded: ?I should like to take this opportunity to thank the entire Project Development Team at eleQtra/InfraCo and AFC for their invaluable contribution in bringing Kpone to financial close. Recognising the crucial role that Cenpower will play in meeting Ghana?s future electricity needs, we and all our financial stakeholders are now galvanised to bring Kpone into production on time and on budget.?



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