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EAIF to provide $19m for solar electricity plant construction in Mozambique

Staff writer
Dec. 27, 2021, 2:36 p.m.

Word count: 489

The Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (EAIF) will act as a sole lender and provide $19m to Central Electrica de Tetereane SA (CET) for the construction of the Cuamba plant.

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The Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (EAIF) will act as a sole lender and provide $19m to Central Electrica de Tetereane SA (CET) for the construction of the Cuamba plant.

A 19MW solar electricity plant to be built in the Niassa province of Mozambique reached financial close on December 20. 

The project will provide clean energy to thousands of people contributing to SDG 7 which focuses on delivering access to clean energy and support job creation in Niassa, one of the country’s poorest provinces in the country.

The Cuamba plant is the first utility-scale solar project in Mozambique to include battery storage. 

It will deliver up to 7 megawatt hours of energy, with the aim of boosting solar output during the evening peak demand. 

This will contribute to grid stability and displace thermal generation, avoiding emissions, which in turn supports SDG 13 which focuses on climate mitigation. 

The introduction of battery technology will be an opportunity to learn and apply lessons on battery storage.

“All the parties – borrower, lenders and Mozambique’s energy utility and government – are keen to deepen and widen their knowledge of battery storage. Battery storage has a big part to play in climate change management and African economic development. Understanding everything from battery installation through to maintenance and performance issues will be of great benefit to future project financing opportunities,” said Olivia Carballo, Director at EAIF’s managers, Ninety One.

The owner and operator of the Cuamba plant is Central Electrica de Tetereane SA (CET) whose majority shareholder is Globeleq, the London-based business that specialises in the African power sector. 

The project was co-developed with Source Energia a diversified renewable energy business focused on the development and operations of large and small scale on- and off-grid projects in Lusephone Africa.

Mike Scholey, Globeleq’s CEO says; “With the ongoing challenges due to the pandemic, I am proud our team has achieved financial close, and we can begin building the first solar and energy storage facility in the country. We fully support the Mozambican Government in their initiatives to support the Paris Agreement and provide its citizens with reliable and clean alternative energy options.”

CET has entered into a power purchase agreement with EDM, Mozambique’s national electricity utility. 

EDM holds 15% of CET’s equity.

In order to improve the commerciality of the project whilst maintaining tariffs at an affordable level, PIDG TA provided a $7m Viability Gap Funding (VGF) grant to CET. 

The grant funded project costs, including the battery storage unit. 

This is the first time PIDG TA has deployed a VGF grant to a solar project with a  battery storage component. 

CD Group, a shareholder in Globeleq, also provided a grant towards battery costs.

CET’s plant is the second solar facility in Mozambique to benefit from EAIF support. 

Now in full production, the $76m 40MW Central Solar de Mocuba (CESOM) plant was loaned $17mby EAIF by way of a “B” loan to the International Finance Corporation.

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