OPIC Advances First Financing Project in Chad
March 6, 2019
Support for world’s poorest with financing for off-grid solar project
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the U.S. Government’s development finance institution, has committed $10 million to support the introduction of off-grid solar kits and appliances in Chad.
OPIC’s loan will help FinLux Ellen Sarl distribute solar kits and appliances to individuals, schools, health clinics and small businesses in Chad, providing them with an affordable source of reliable electricity. The project is the 33rd OPIC has committed under the U.S. Power Africa initiative and the first time OPIC has ever committed financing to a project in Chad, one of the poorest countries in the world. Last year, Chad ranked 186 out of 189 on the Human Development Index.
“OPIC is proud of its work supporting investment in the places where it is needed most – in this case bringing development finance to an electricity project in Chad,” said David Bohigian, OPIC Acting President and CEO. “Expanding access to electricity is one of the most effective ways to empower people, improve their quality of life and foster economic growth.”
Approximately 40 percent of Chad’s 15 million people live below the national poverty line and only four percent has regular access to electricity. In rural areas, electricity is particularly scarce, with only about one percent of the population having access.
The solar kits and appliances that FinLux is distributing in Chad are based on a battery produced in New York State and adapted for rural electrification in Sub-Saharan Africa. Because women comprise half of the company’s workforce, the project also advances OPIC’s 2X Women’s initiative.
The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) is a self-sustaining U.S. Government agency that helps American businesses invest in emerging markets. Established in 1971, OPIC provides businesses with the tools to manage the risks associated with foreign direct investment, fosters economic development in emerging market countries, and advances U.S. foreign policy and national security priorities. OPIC helps American businesses gain footholds in new markets, catalyzes new revenues and contributes to jobs and growth opportunities both at home and abroad. OPIC fulfills its mission by providing businesses with financing, political risk insurance, advocacy and by partnering with private equity investment fund managers.
OPIC services are available to new and expanding businesses planning to invest in more than 160 countries worldwide. Because OPIC charges market-based fees for its products, it operates on a self-sustaining basis at no net cost to taxpayers. All OPIC projects must adhere to best international practices and cannot cause job loss in the United States.