Kesses near Eldoret, Uasin Gishu County is set to host a 40MW solar power plant following investment by the Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (EAIF).
EAIF confirmed that it had provided a $35 million loan over a 15-year term to the Kesses solar generation facility. The project is set to cost a total of $87 Million.
Alten Group’s Kenya subsidiary Alten Kenya Solarfarms BV (Alten) received the first part of the loan in December 2021.
Operating as an Independent Power Producer (IPP), Aspen will sell power to state-owned utility Kenya Power on a 20-year take-or-pay Power Purchase Agreement.
Construction on the plant has already started and is expected to be complete by late 2022. It is expected to create up to 400 construction jobs and several permanent jobs during operations.
“The Kesses plant brings multiple benefits to Kenya’s economic development. It will also play an important part in combatting climate change and strengthening Kenya’s ability to recover from Covid-19. EAIF is now established as a lender of choice for renewable energy companies investing in Africa,” Sine Zulu, an Investment Specialist at EAIF’s investment managers, Ninety One, stated.
Standard Bank was the mandated lead arranger of the project finance to Alten. Through its CIB and Stanbic Bank Kenya divisions, Standard Bank is supplying US$41 million in debt comprising a term loan, VAT and Debt Service Reserve facility.
“With the Kesses Project, Standard Bank has been able to provide continued support to the use of clean energy across the African continent allowing for a more sustainable future. This is the second project Standard Bank has funded with the Alten Group and we were pleased to be able to bring in and partner with EAIF for the funding,” stated Sherrill Byrne, Executive Energy and Infrastructure Finance at Standard Bank.
The Kesses plant is expected to improve access to energy for thousands of households.
Other countries in which EAIF has backed renewable energy projects include Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Mali, Mozambique, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda.