Harith, AFC create $3.3bn African energy platform

The two financiers have pooled assets including Ghana’s Kpone and Kenya’s Lake Turkana projects into a unit capable of supplying 30 million people.

Harith General Partners and Africa Finance Corporation have merged their power assets to establish a new entity worth $3.3 billion.

The Johannesburg-based fund manager and Nigeria-headquartered institution today said the platform would oversee 1,575MW of combined gross operational and under-construction generating capacity, capable of meeting the needs of about 30 million people.

The portfolio comprises high-profile assets such as AFC’s interests in Cenpower, owner of Ghana’s 230MW Kpone Independent Power Project, and Cabeolica, a 25.5MW wind farm that provides 20 percent of Cape Verde’s energy needs. These will be combined with projects backed by the Pan Africa Infrastructure Development Fund, which is managed by Harith.

The latter include the 450MW Azura Edo IPP in Nigeria, the 420MW Kelvin Power Station in South Africa, the 310MW Lake Turkana Wind Power project in Kenya and the 90MW Rabai Thermal project, also in Kenya.

“The new venture will be in a position to develop and finance projects through corporate finance transactions and project finance, significantly reducing the lead time to bringing power projects to fruition,” the two institutions said in a statement.

The move comes amid efforts to bring power to the 620 million people who continue to live without electricity on the continent. This endeavour was best crystallised in 2013 when Barack Obama announced his Power Africa plan, which aims to create 30GW of new, cleaner capacity by 2030 through funds coming from donors, development banks and private investors.

Only today, Irish developer Mainstream said it had raised $117.5 million from affiliates of the International Finance Corporation and two funds focused on developing markets.

Other cross-border efforts to boost African power include investments by Cape Town-based African Infrastructure Investment Managers, which clinched a 20-year, 100MW power purchase agreement on the Kipeto Energy wind farm with a Kenyan utility earlier this month.