Senegal project raises west African prospects

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Richard Heap
June 12, 2015
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This content is from our archive. Some formatting or links may be broken.
Senegal project raises west African prospects

The race is on. There are now two contenders to be west Africa’s flagship wind farm.

On Tuesday, American Capital Energy & Infrastructure (ACEI) announced it is set to invest $86m (€76m) in French developer Sarreole’s planned 152MW wind farm in Taiba Ndiaye in Senegal. The scheme is expected to require total investment of $340m (€302m), and ACEI said the rest of funds are set to come from senior and mezzanine debt investors.

Meanwhile, financial close is scheduled this year for the 225MW AyitepaWind on the coast of Ghana. Last year, Mainstream Renewable Power agreed a deal with Swiss developer NEK Umwelttechnik to buy the scheme, which is set to require total investment of $525m. If completed on schedule, the project would start generating power in early 2016.

Both are looking to reach financial close, and whichever does first will take pole position in the race to be west Africa’s first major wind farm. This would make the winning scheme hugely symbolic, much like the 310MW Lake Turkana in Kenya has done in east Africa.

So which will be the first? Well, ultimately, it doesn’t really matter.

What really matters for the region is that one or both attracts the financial backing they need. This would prove institutional investors are happy to invest their money in west Africa, and gain an early foothold in these small but growing markets. It would also pave the way for developers to pursue projects in the wider region.

Because, on the face of it, both AyitepaWind and Taiba Ndiaye are viable investment propositions.

We looked at Ayitepa last September after that Mainstream deal and, since then, its prospects have further improved with the signing of a power purchase agreement with the Electricity Company of Ghana in March. This is the first such wind power deal in Ghana.

Meanwhile, Taiba Ndiaye has been through a difficult gestation.

Investigations into wind conditions on the site started in 2008; and, in 2012, after years of negotiations, developer Sarreole agreed a 20-year power purchase deal with national utility Senelec in 2013. The new deal with ACEI is important because it shows the project makes financial sense.

It also has political support. Senegal’s leaders have committed to improving energy security by diversifying the mix away from fossil fuels, and a 152MW wind farm in a nation with total energy capacity of around 600MW would play a huge role in that.

Currently, over half of Senegal’s energy comes from non-renewable biomass, with oil imports accounting for 40%; and other resources, mainly coal and hydro, providing the remaining 6%.

The demographics are good, and this should be enough to attract the investors they need. Wind in Africa has grown fast in the last 18 months. Almost 1GW of capacity was installed last year, taking total capacity to over 2.5GW. Growth was mainly in South Africa (560MW) and Morocco (300MW), and we are also seeing big plans in Egypt, Kenya and others.

This shows that investors are confident going north, east and south. Soon, we expect to see more of them go west.

The race is on. There are now two contenders to be west Africa’s flagship wind farm.

On Tuesday, American Capital Energy & Infrastructure (ACEI) announced it is set to invest $86m (€76m) in French developer Sarreole’s planned 152MW wind farm in Taiba Ndiaye in Senegal. The scheme is expected to require total investment of $340m (€302m), and ACEI said the rest of funds are set to come from senior and mezzanine debt investors.

Meanwhile, financial close is scheduled this year for the 225MW AyitepaWind on the coast of Ghana. Last year, Mainstream Renewable Power agreed a deal with Swiss developer NEK Umwelttechnik to buy the scheme, which is set to require total investment of $525m. If completed on schedule, the project would start generating power in early 2016.

Both are looking to reach financial close, and whichever does first will take pole position in the race to be west Africa’s first major wind farm. This would make the winning scheme hugely symbolic, much like the 310MW Lake Turkana in Kenya has done in east Africa.

So which will be the first? Well, ultimately, it doesn’t really matter.

What really matters for the region is that one or both attracts the financial backing they need. This would prove institutional investors are happy to invest their money in west Africa, and gain an early foothold in these small but growing markets. It would also pave the way for developers to pursue projects in the wider region.

Because, on the face of it, both AyitepaWind and Taiba Ndiaye are viable investment propositions.

We looked at Ayitepa last September after that Mainstream deal and, since then, its prospects have further improved with the signing of a power purchase agreement with the Electricity Company of Ghana in March. This is the first such wind power deal in Ghana.

Meanwhile, Taiba Ndiaye has been through a difficult gestation.

Investigations into wind conditions on the site started in 2008; and, in 2012, after years of negotiations, developer Sarreole agreed a 20-year power purchase deal with national utility Senelec in 2013. The new deal with ACEI is important because it shows the project makes financial sense.

It also has political support. Senegal’s leaders have committed to improving energy security by diversifying the mix away from fossil fuels, and a 152MW wind farm in a nation with total energy capacity of around 600MW would play a huge role in that.

Currently, over half of Senegal’s energy comes from non-renewable biomass, with oil imports accounting for 40%; and other resources, mainly coal and hydro, providing the remaining 6%.

The demographics are good, and this should be enough to attract the investors they need. Wind in Africa has grown fast in the last 18 months. Almost 1GW of capacity was installed last year, taking total capacity to over 2.5GW. Growth was mainly in South Africa (560MW) and Morocco (300MW), and we are also seeing big plans in Egypt, Kenya and others.

This shows that investors are confident going north, east and south. Soon, we expect to see more of them go west.

The race is on. There are now two contenders to be west Africa’s flagship wind farm.

On Tuesday, American Capital Energy & Infrastructure (ACEI) announced it is set to invest $86m (€76m) in French developer Sarreole’s planned 152MW wind farm in Taiba Ndiaye in Senegal. The scheme is expected to require total investment of $340m (€302m), and ACEI said the rest of funds are set to come from senior and mezzanine debt investors.

Meanwhile, financial close is scheduled this year for the 225MW AyitepaWind on the coast of Ghana. Last year, Mainstream Renewable Power agreed a deal with Swiss developer NEK Umwelttechnik to buy the scheme, which is set to require total investment of $525m. If completed on schedule, the project would start generating power in early 2016.

Both are looking to reach financial close, and whichever does first will take pole position in the race to be west Africa’s first major wind farm. This would make the winning scheme hugely symbolic, much like the 310MW Lake Turkana in Kenya has done in east Africa.

So which will be the first? Well, ultimately, it doesn’t really matter.

What really matters for the region is that one or both attracts the financial backing they need. This would prove institutional investors are happy to invest their money in west Africa, and gain an early foothold in these small but growing markets. It would also pave the way for developers to pursue projects in the wider region.

Because, on the face of it, both AyitepaWind and Taiba Ndiaye are viable investment propositions.

We looked at Ayitepa last September after that Mainstream deal and, since then, its prospects have further improved with the signing of a power purchase agreement with the Electricity Company of Ghana in March. This is the first such wind power deal in Ghana.

Meanwhile, Taiba Ndiaye has been through a difficult gestation.

Investigations into wind conditions on the site started in 2008; and, in 2012, after years of negotiations, developer Sarreole agreed a 20-year power purchase deal with national utility Senelec in 2013. The new deal with ACEI is important because it shows the project makes financial sense.

It also has political support. Senegal’s leaders have committed to improving energy security by diversifying the mix away from fossil fuels, and a 152MW wind farm in a nation with total energy capacity of around 600MW would play a huge role in that.

Currently, over half of Senegal’s energy comes from non-renewable biomass, with oil imports accounting for 40%; and other resources, mainly coal and hydro, providing the remaining 6%.

The demographics are good, and this should be enough to attract the investors they need. Wind in Africa has grown fast in the last 18 months. Almost 1GW of capacity was installed last year, taking total capacity to over 2.5GW. Growth was mainly in South Africa (560MW) and Morocco (300MW), and we are also seeing big plans in Egypt, Kenya and others.

This shows that investors are confident going north, east and south. Soon, we expect to see more of them go west.

The race is on. There are now two contenders to be west Africa’s flagship wind farm.

On Tuesday, American Capital Energy & Infrastructure (ACEI) announced it is set to invest $86m (€76m) in French developer Sarreole’s planned 152MW wind farm in Taiba Ndiaye in Senegal. The scheme is expected to require total investment of $340m (€302m), and ACEI said the rest of funds are set to come from senior and mezzanine debt investors.

Meanwhile, financial close is scheduled this year for the 225MW AyitepaWind on the coast of Ghana. Last year, Mainstream Renewable Power agreed a deal with Swiss developer NEK Umwelttechnik to buy the scheme, which is set to require total investment of $525m. If completed on schedule, the project would start generating power in early 2016.

Both are looking to reach financial close, and whichever does first will take pole position in the race to be west Africa’s first major wind farm. This would make the winning scheme hugely symbolic, much like the 310MW Lake Turkana in Kenya has done in east Africa.

So which will be the first? Well, ultimately, it doesn’t really matter.

What really matters for the region is that one or both attracts the financial backing they need. This would prove institutional investors are happy to invest their money in west Africa, and gain an early foothold in these small but growing markets. It would also pave the way for developers to pursue projects in the wider region.

Because, on the face of it, both AyitepaWind and Taiba Ndiaye are viable investment propositions.

We looked at Ayitepa last September after that Mainstream deal and, since then, its prospects have further improved with the signing of a power purchase agreement with the Electricity Company of Ghana in March. This is the first such wind power deal in Ghana.

Meanwhile, Taiba Ndiaye has been through a difficult gestation.

Investigations into wind conditions on the site started in 2008; and, in 2012, after years of negotiations, developer Sarreole agreed a 20-year power purchase deal with national utility Senelec in 2013. The new deal with ACEI is important because it shows the project makes financial sense.

It also has political support. Senegal’s leaders have committed to improving energy security by diversifying the mix away from fossil fuels, and a 152MW wind farm in a nation with total energy capacity of around 600MW would play a huge role in that.

Currently, over half of Senegal’s energy comes from non-renewable biomass, with oil imports accounting for 40%; and other resources, mainly coal and hydro, providing the remaining 6%.

The demographics are good, and this should be enough to attract the investors they need. Wind in Africa has grown fast in the last 18 months. Almost 1GW of capacity was installed last year, taking total capacity to over 2.5GW. Growth was mainly in South Africa (560MW) and Morocco (300MW), and we are also seeing big plans in Egypt, Kenya and others.

This shows that investors are confident going north, east and south. Soon, we expect to see more of them go west.

The race is on. There are now two contenders to be west Africa’s flagship wind farm.

On Tuesday, American Capital Energy & Infrastructure (ACEI) announced it is set to invest $86m (€76m) in French developer Sarreole’s planned 152MW wind farm in Taiba Ndiaye in Senegal. The scheme is expected to require total investment of $340m (€302m), and ACEI said the rest of funds are set to come from senior and mezzanine debt investors.

Meanwhile, financial close is scheduled this year for the 225MW AyitepaWind on the coast of Ghana. Last year, Mainstream Renewable Power agreed a deal with Swiss developer NEK Umwelttechnik to buy the scheme, which is set to require total investment of $525m. If completed on schedule, the project would start generating power in early 2016.

Both are looking to reach financial close, and whichever does first will take pole position in the race to be west Africa’s first major wind farm. This would make the winning scheme hugely symbolic, much like the 310MW Lake Turkana in Kenya has done in east Africa.

So which will be the first? Well, ultimately, it doesn’t really matter.

What really matters for the region is that one or both attracts the financial backing they need. This would prove institutional investors are happy to invest their money in west Africa, and gain an early foothold in these small but growing markets. It would also pave the way for developers to pursue projects in the wider region.

Because, on the face of it, both AyitepaWind and Taiba Ndiaye are viable investment propositions.

We looked at Ayitepa last September after that Mainstream deal and, since then, its prospects have further improved with the signing of a power purchase agreement with the Electricity Company of Ghana in March. This is the first such wind power deal in Ghana.

Meanwhile, Taiba Ndiaye has been through a difficult gestation.

Investigations into wind conditions on the site started in 2008; and, in 2012, after years of negotiations, developer Sarreole agreed a 20-year power purchase deal with national utility Senelec in 2013. The new deal with ACEI is important because it shows the project makes financial sense.

It also has political support. Senegal’s leaders have committed to improving energy security by diversifying the mix away from fossil fuels, and a 152MW wind farm in a nation with total energy capacity of around 600MW would play a huge role in that.

Currently, over half of Senegal’s energy comes from non-renewable biomass, with oil imports accounting for 40%; and other resources, mainly coal and hydro, providing the remaining 6%.

The demographics are good, and this should be enough to attract the investors they need. Wind in Africa has grown fast in the last 18 months. Almost 1GW of capacity was installed last year, taking total capacity to over 2.5GW. Growth was mainly in South Africa (560MW) and Morocco (300MW), and we are also seeing big plans in Egypt, Kenya and others.

This shows that investors are confident going north, east and south. Soon, we expect to see more of them go west.

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Not a member yet?

Become a member of the 6,500-strong A Word About Wind community today, and gain access to our premium content, exclusive lead generation and investment opportunities.