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OPIC Surpasses Power Africa Financing Milestone, Sparking Progress for New Energy Generation and Access


U.S. Development Finance Institution commits over $1.6 billion to Presidential initiative, surpassing initial pledge

OPIC-supported projects will create nearly 1,500 new megawatts from both thermal and renewable energy, large grid-connected facilities and innovative off-grid access efforts

WASHINGTON – The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the U.S. Government’s Development Finance Institution, today announced its successful achievement of the initial financing and insurance goals pledged to support President Obama’s Power Africa initiative.

Power Africa, launched in June 2013, is a partnership among more than 100 public and private sector partners to bring new power access to the more than 600 million Sub-Saharan Africans that currently live without electricity. As a key part of this initiative, OPIC pledged to provide $1.5 billion in financing and insurance to private sector energy developers to create new energy solutions across sub-Saharan Africa.

In September of 2015, OPIC surpassed this milestone with the approval of several new projects, and now supports a diverse portfolio of private sector-led development that will create almost 1,500 new megawatts (MWs) of on-grid and off-grid power across Sub-Saharan Africa in support of the Presidential initiative.

“I am so pleased that OPIC has been able to so quickly and efficiently respond to President Obama’s ambitious Power Africa goals and to the energy needs of people throughout sub-Saharan Africa,” said Elizabeth Littlefield, OPIC’s President and CEO. “Since Power Africa was announced, OPIC’s catalytic debt finance and political risk insurance has resulted in Agency commitments totaling nearly 1,500 new megawatts of electricity using an all-of-the above approach to generation and access. This is a major achievement not only for OPIC and Power Africa, but for the millions of Africans benefiting from this initiative. They will now be able to access advantages in education, healthcare, business growth and quality of life that come with increased energy access. In the years ahead, we look forward to further increasing our relationships with U.S. businesses investing in Africa’s promising energy future.”

“OPIC is changing the investment landscape in Africa’s energy sector, making transformative power deals possible,” said Power Africa Coordinator Andrew Herscowitz. 

Projects included in OPIC’s African energy portfolio span the range of responsive, unique approaches that are needed to address Africa’s electricity challenges. Large grid-connected projects take advantage of Africa’s diverse and abundant resources.

For example, in West Africa, OPIC-supported multi-fuel power plants that can run on natural gas or oil include the 204 MW Amandi facility in Ghana and the 53 MW Cap des Biches facility in Senegal. And to tap into East Africa’s abundant wind potential, OPIC financing will help the Kipeto and Lake Turkana wind power facilities deliver more than 400 MWs of new power to the Kenyan national grid.

Recognizing that the African power solution is greater than just grid delivery, OPIC support will also provide new access to tens of thousands of people living away from large power infrastructures with financing to off-grid home solar kits from Nova-Lumos in Nigeria.

OPIC’s current portfolio of support to power in Sub-Saharan Africa now totals over $1.6 billion in commitments for financing, insurance, and support for development costs. This achievement comes years ahead of schedule for OPIC, and the agency is already on its way to fulfilling a pledge for another $1 billion of financing and insurance in support of Power Africa.

 

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OPIC is the U.S. Government’s development finance institution. It mobilizes private capital to help address critical development challenges and in doing so, advances U.S. foreign policy and national security priorities. Because OPIC works with the U.S. private sector, it helps U.S. businesses gain footholds in emerging markets, catalyzing revenues, jobs and growth opportunities both at home and abroad. OPIC achieves its mission by providing investors with financing, political risk insurance, and support for private equity investment funds, when commercial funding cannot be obtained elsewhere. Established as an agency of the U.S. Government in 1971, OPIC operates on a self-sustaining basis at no net cost to American taxpayers.

 All OPIC projects adhere to high environmental and social standards and respect human rights, including worker's rights. By mandating high standards, OPIC aims to raise the industry and regional standards of the countries where it funds projects. OPIC services are available for new and expanding business enterprises in more than 160 countries worldwide.