July 21—Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (EAIF) and the Dutch Development Bank (FMO), will provide $29.3 million to refinance the 13 MW Bugoye hydro-electric power station in Kasese, western Uganda. Bugoye has been generating electricity since 2008 and this power is being feed into the national grid.
The money will go to paying EAIF the balance of its original loan to the project, pay for repair works, and clear construction loans made by the project sponsor (and indirectly, the 100% shareholder in Bugoye), the Africa Renewable Energy Fund (AREF). AREF is managed by Berkeley Energy. AREF said it is to use the refinancing proceeds to invest in other greenfield hydro-electric plants in Uganda
Nazmeera Moola, Head of EAIF at Investec Asset Management (IAM) whose firm arranged the deal, said the refinancing is a good example of how a successful power generation facility can be used to mobilize fresh capital to build new capacity.
“In refinancing Bugoye, EAIF and FMO are freeing up capital that AREF will use to develop Greenfield renewable power stations. That will add to Uganda’s economic potential by increasing the country’s generation capacity, and creating new jobs in construction and plant operation,” she said.
Nicholas Tatrallyay, Investment Manager at Berkeley Energy said; “The Bugoye refinancing is one of the first refinancings for small hydro projects on the continent and is an important milestone for Uganda’s renewable energy sector. The Bugoye refinancing will allow AREF to invest additional capital into Uganda and further expand its portfolio of hydro projects in the country.”
Moola said, “We have been able to have added developmental impact because Bugoye is an established, efficient and viable business with a suitable risk profile. In backing the project, the leaders of EAIF and FMO demonstrated strategic, long-term, thinking and wholly constructive commercial flexibility.”
EAIF and FMO each providing 50% will facilitate a Senior Debt with a 12-year term to refinance the 13MW Bugoye hydro-electric power plant in Kasese, western Uganda. The plant, which has 98% availability, has been producing electricity since 2008. It feeds power into Uganda’s national grid.
Wilfred van den Bos, Senior Investment Officer Energy FMO said, “FMO is a proud supporter of this project. This refinancing will free up capital that the owner will invest in other greenfield renewable energy projects. This is fully in line with our aim to positively affect peoples’ lives by supporting development, creating jobs and providing clean and sustainable energy to Uganda.”
The refinancing agreements were signed mid this month with the financial close expected around four weeks from the date of signing. EAIF has supported eight and FMO 10, Ugandan renewable energy projects in hydro and solar power over the past 10 years. Together these facilities will account for up to 39% of Uganda’s installed generating capacity.
Details of the new project are expected to be announced later in the year but EAIF is the Mandated Lead Arranger of the Bugoye refinancing, which was undertaken by EAIF’s managers, IAM. EAIF and FMO each contributed 50% of the $29.3 milion loan facility.
EAIF and FMO are two of the most experienced and skilled providers of energy infrastructure finance in Africa. Both institutions have shown an ability to bring not only finance, but real commitment to Africa’s economic progress.