The Overseas Private Investment Corporation announced this week it has committed $2.4 billion to date to the U.S. Power Africa initiative to harness the resources of the private sector to bring more electricity to Africa.
OPIC’s commitments include loans, guaranties and political risk insurance, across 12 utility-scale power plants, eight off-grid and small-scale renewable projects and four microfinance and investment facilities. Together, these commitments are expected to create 1,660 MW of new generation capacity. The power projects OPIC supports in Africa span nine countries including Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania, Togo and Zambia.
OPIC, the U.S. Government’s development finance institution is one of 12 U.S. Government partners in Power Africa and has been supporting the initiative since it was launched in 2013.
In total, Power Africa has supported 88 power projects in Africa that are projected to add 7,400 MW of generating power. Projects completed under Power Africa have already brought electricity to more than 50 million people.
“This success speaks to the effectiveness of this U.S. Government partnership and the vital role of development finance in marshaling the resources of the private sector to build power plants and develop innovative solutions for bringing electricity to remote populations,” said Ray W. Washburne, OPIC president and CEO. “OPIC will continue to support power projects that will improve living standards and the business climate in Africa.”
Projects OPIC has supported under the Power Africa initiative include:
In Guinea, a 50 MW thermal power plant will increase the country’s power supply by as much as 10 percent and help meet growing demand, which is expected to triple by 2027.
In Nigeria, a project to distribute pay-as-you-go home solar kits to help reach the millions of people who are not connected to the power grid.
In Senegal, a 53 MW combined-cycle thermal power plant, and a 158 MW wind power plant, which, combined, will increase the country’s installed capacity by more than 35 percent.
In Uganda, two run-of-river hydropower plants.