Consortium to finance Ghana desalination plant

A group of investors are funding a new $126m desalination plant in Accra, the capital city of Ghana. Spain’s Abengoa and Japan’s Sojitz Corporation are providing the equity, while Standard Bank is committing senior debt.

South Africa’s Standard Bank has arranged a financing package to develop a $126 million desalination plant in Accra, the capital city of the West African nation of Ghana.

Standard Bank is providing 70 percent of the project’s funding in the form of senior debt, while Spanish multinational Abengoa and Japanese trading company Sojitz Corporation are contributing equity funding equivalent to 30 percent of the project’s cost.

The plant will have a water production capacity of 60,000 cubic metres a day and will provide potable water for around 400,000 Accra residents who previously had “very limited” access to clean water.

The World Bank undertook feasibility studies for the plant and provided credit enhancement to underpin the 12-year debt funding. A statement from Standard Bank said Ghana has a “lack of mature funding mechanisms”.

Kwamina Asomaning, a director of corporate and investment banking for Standard Bank in Ghana, said the project has the support of the government in Ghana, which has guaranteed the obligations of the Ghana Water Company. He said the provision of clean water had far-reaching socio-economic impacts that “in turn further raises a community’s ability to pay for services”.

The plant will be constructed and run by Abengoa and will be the international build-operate-transfer company’s first African project.  

Standard Bank said the plant’s “well-defined and structured framework based on international public-private partnership standards was a pre-requisite for investor comfort”.