IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, Senegal’s national utility, and ContourGlobal, the project developer, today announced the inauguration of the Cap des Biches power station, which will ease electricity constraints in Senegal by providing power to 100,000 people.Cap des Biches is a modern, dual-fuel power plant using combined cycle technology to generate high efficiency levels and lower costs. The project was designed, built and is operated by ContourGlobal, a leading US power projects developer. His Excellency Macky Sall, President of Senegal, presided over the launch of the plant.
IFC, the mandated lead arranger, provided a cross-currency swap for OPIC’s $91 million debt financing under an innovative financing model for the 53 megawatt power project. Once operational, the Cap des Biches project will help meet the country’s 5-8 percent annual growth in demand for electricity. SENELEC, Senegal’s national electricity utility, will be the off-taker for the power generated by the project.Vera Songwe, IFC Director for West and Central Africa, said, “The Cap des Biches project makes a crucial contribution to closing the gap in electricity demand, which is a key development constraint for Senegal. IFC’s innovative, customized approaches are enabling private sector operators to play a bigger role in delivering high-quality energy installations to support the economic and social Senegal Emergent strategy.”
Maria Goravanchi, OPIC Director, said, “We are pleased to inaugurate Cap des Biches. OPIC’s first power sector transaction in Senegal. It’s a milestone for OPIC’s energy presence in West Africa, an exciting region with tremendous development opportunity.”The Cap des Biches project is OPIC’s first financing of a utility-scale power project in Senegal, and helps fulfill the U.S. development finance institution’s key role to carry out President Obama’s Power Africa initiative, which aims to add 60 million new electricity connections and 30,000 new megawatts in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Cap des Biches underscores IFC’s commitment to Senegal’s power sector. This inauguration follows the launch of the Tobene power plant, which generates power for 1,5 million Senegalese. IFC now supports 40 percent of the power generated in Senegal, having financed four power stations to date. Senegal, which needs to generate additional 135 megawatts of electricity to meet current demand, has joined the World Bank Group’s Scaling Solar, a program through which it plans to add as much as 200 megawatts of grid-tied solar power.