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Africa, Norway funds sign up to 100MW Nigeria solar park

The agreement to finance Scatec Solar’s Nova Scotia plant, expected to hit a $150m close next year, represents the first investment by Africa50.

Norwegian developer Scatec Solar has secured equity and debt commitments for its 100MW solar plant in Nigeria ahead of a $150 million financial close next year.

The firm received backing from Norfund, its home country’s development finance institution, and from the Africa50 fund as equity investors in the project.

The scheme represents the first investment for Africa50, an infrastructure investment platform set up in July last year by the African Development Bank. The vehicle achieved an $830 million first close upon its foundation from the AfDB and 20 African countries.

A second close from non-sovereign investors both in Africa and outside Africa was originally expected by the end of 2015, although it has yet to be secured. Africa50 is aiming for $3 billion over the “medium-term” and said last month it expects to reach $1 billion “in the next few months”.

The Nova Scotia project has also received debt financing pledges from the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, the Islamic Development Bank and the AfDB. Financial close is expected later next year with commercial operations slated for 2018. The project signed a 20-year power purchase agreement with Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading in July.

Nigeria is the latest African country targeted for investment by Scatec Solar. The Norwegian firm has a pipeline that already includes projects in Mali, Ghana, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast and Senegal while an 8.5MW plant it sponsors in Rwanda began operations in 2014.