New AIIM fund buys 44% of Mali thermal plant

The Old Mutual subsidiary will use its latest vehicle to invest in the €125m facility, the first independent power project to feed into the West African country’s grid.

African Infrastructure Investment Managers has acquired a 44 percent stake in Albatros Energy, the company set up to build, own, operate and transfer a 90MW thermal power station in western Mali.

The asset manager will fund the deal through AIIF3, a vehicle it is currently raising and the first to be launched since it became a wholly owned subsidiary of South Africa’s Old Mutual Alternative Investments.

A spokesman for AIIM told Infrastructure Investor that the project’s costs were expected to total €125.5 million, now fully funded through a 70/30 senior debt/equity split.

Other shareholders in the company include Redox Power Solutions and Burmeister & Wain Scandinavian Contractor, who will build and operate the project, and Denmark’s Investment Fund for Developing Countries.

The debt is being provided by the West African Development Bank, Islamic Development Bank, the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector, the OPEC Fund for International Development, the Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund and GuarantCo.

The project is scheduled to start construction in July and expected to complete within 16 months. It will add at least another quarter to the current baseload potential of Mali, the current installed power capacity of which totals just 352MW, according to AIIM.

Once operational, the plant will sell its output to Mali’s national utility Énergie du Mali through a 20-year power purchase agreement.

The deal marks AIIF3’s third investment after it acquired a 50 percent interest in AIIM Hydroneo, a pan-African hydro power development platform, and a 60 percent stake in DSM Corridor Group, a specialist dry bulk terminal operator in Tanzania, earlier this year.

AIIM declined to comment on how much has been raised for AIIF3 so far and when to expect a final close for the vehicle.