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The financial transactions for the construction of a 340MW Independent Power Project in Ghana has been internationally recognised by the London based PFI Awards as Africa’s most outstanding power deal of 2014. 

The PFI Awards Scheme is the financial industry component of the Global Thomson Reuters Awards for Excellence and has for close to a decade rewarded corporate and individual success in the financial industry on the basis of their demonstration of “outstanding performance and commitment.” 

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Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) has received the African Banker Infrastructure Deal of the Year Award for its role in financing and developing the $900 million Kpone Independent Power Project (Kpone IPP), which reached financial close in December 2014.

Unveiled in January at a groundbreaking ceremony attended by Ghanaian Vice President Kwesi Amissah-Arthur, minister of power Kwabena Donkor, and the managing director of the Electricity Company of Ghana, Robert Dwamena, Kpone IPP, will be one of Ghana’s most fuel-efficient thermal power stations when it comes on-stream in 2017, able to increase Ghana’s generation capacity by 10 percent.

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London – 03 October 2014: Cenpower Generation Company Limited (‘Cenpower’), a Special Purpose Vehicle created to develop the Kpone Independent Power Plant (‘KIPP’) in the Tema industrial zone, close to Ghana’s capital, Accra, is pleased to announce the financial close of the required US$ 900 million of project finance.

When it comes on stream in 2017, the KIPP project will be the largest private IPP in the country, accounting for approximately 10% of Ghana’s total installed capacity and approximately 20% of its available thermal generation capacity. As a Combined Cycle Gas Turbine (‘CCGT’) plant, it will be amongst Ghana’s most fuel- efficient thermal power stations. Once in production, KIPP will be become a critical base-load component in meeting Ghana’s growing electricity demand.

The project finance comprises two components: a US$ 650 million debt tranche and a US$ 250 million equity tranche. The debt is being funded under export credit cover by a consortium of South African commercial banks and international Development Finance Institutions (DFIs). Rand Merchant Bank (‘RMB’) acted as the Global Lead Bank and Mandated Lead Arranger for the commercial banking tranche. Other South African banks involved in the transaction as Mandated Lead Arrangers were Nedbank and Standard Bank. Nederlandse Financierings-Maatschappij voor Ontwikkelings Landen N.V. (‘FMO’), the Dutch Development Bank, acted as the Mandated Arranger for the DFI tranche.

Via the equity raising, three leading investment groups will be joining the equity consortium, whilst InfraCo, the principal project co-developer since inception, will be exiting. The new investors are Sumitomo Corporation of Japan, African Infrastructure Investment Fund II and its co-investors (via an investment vehicle called Mercury Power) and FMO. Post-financial close, the equity holders in Cenpower now are AFC Equity Investments Limited (a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Africa Finance Corporation (‘AFC’) (31.85%), Cenpower Holdings Limited (21%), a consortium of Ghanaian investors, (21%), Sumitomo Corporation (28%), Mercury Power (15%) and FMO (4.15%).

Oliver Andrews, AFC’s Executive Director and Chief Investment Officer and Cenpower Project Director, commented: “This is a shining example of what can be achieved when Africa’s public and private sectors combine in innovative and sustainable partnership to create the bankable energy infrastructure projects so critical to the continent’s economic growth. Moreover, the fact that a near US$1 billion transaction has been largely financed by African institutions reflects the growing capacity of indigenous lenders and equity investors to begin to address Africa’s ongoing infrastructure deficit.”

Wada Tomoyuki, Senior Project Manager, Sumitomo Corporation, observed: “Sub-Saharan Africa is growing in strategic importance for us. In backing the Cenpower project, we look forward not only to providing our technological know-how and experience, but also to contributing to Ghana’s development.”Ebbe Hamilton, Partner at eleQtra, said: “In exiting this groundbreaking project, Infraco and eleQtra are delighted to be able to facilitate the entry of such blue-chip investors as Sumitomo, AIIM and FMO. We are very proud to have been a key member of the development team of this truly African project.”

“FMO is delighted to become an equity stakeholder in Cenpower,” added Janos Bonta, the Dutch Development Bank’s Senior Investment Officer. “The KIPP project will provide Ghana with reliable and affordable power going forward, thereby improving the levels of electrification across the country, and, as such, is very much in line with our strategic mission.”

Samuel Brew-Butler, Chairman of Cenpower, concluded: “I should like take this opportunity to thank the entire Project Development Team at eleQtra/InfraCo and AFC for their invaluable contribution in bringing Kpone to financial close. Recognising the crucial role that Cenpower will play in meeting Ghana’s future electricity needs, we and all our financial stakeholders are now galvanised to bring Kpone into production on time and on budget.”

Welcome to coverage of EMEA Finance’s seventh annual Project Finance Awards, including all the details of this year’s winning projects, funding facilities, financiers and advisers.

As usual, the package begins with our headline, EMEA-wide awards for the best deals and dealmakers in 2014, and then moves into our regional awards for projects and firms in Central and Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Oil and gas, social development, infrastructure, telecoms, transport, renewable energy and more are represented in this list of the year’s notable deals.

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Accra – 29 January 2015: The Vice President of Ghana, H.E Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur, has officially cut sod during a ceremony to mark commencement of Cenpower Generation Company Limited’s (‘Cenpower’) Kpone Independent Power Plant (‘KIPP’), located at Kpone, near Tema, situated 24 km east of the capital, Accra.

Cenpower’s KIPP project comprises a 350MW Combined Cycle Gas Turbine (‘CCGT’) power plant, a 161kV substation, fuel supply, storage and treatment infrastructure as well as working capital for fuel. When it comes on stream in 2017, the plant will be a critical base-load component in meeting Ghana’s growing electricity demand, accounting for approximately 10% of Ghana’s total installed generation capacity and about 20% of the country’s thermal generation capacity.

Initiated in 2003 by a group of Ghanaian entrepreneurs under the umbrella of Cenpower Holdings Limited, the Cenpower KIPP will be the largest private independent power plant and one of the most efficient in Ghana. It has been designed with maximum fuel flexibility, able to operate with light crude oil, diesel fuel and natural gas. Last October, Cenpower successfully executed the agreements for the US$900 million financing required for the project, raising debt and equity finance from a consortium of South African commercial banks (RMB, Nedbank and Standard Bank), development finance institutions (FMO, DEG, EAIF, OFID, DBSA and IDC) and institutional investors, including Africa Finance Corporation (AFC), Sumitomo Corporation (‘Sumitomo’) of Japan, African Infrastructure Investment Managers (‘AIIM’), FMO, the Dutch development finance institution as well as the local founders of the project.

Chairman and Founder of Cenpower, Mr. Sam Brew-Butler said: “Breaking ground today represents another major achievement in the project’s history. We are constructing a state-of-the-art power plant that will increase Ghana’s energy supply and facilitate the country’s economic growth. Our mission is to become the country’s leading private sector electricity company by working with world-class partners.”

After a rigorous procurement process, Group Five, the South African construction services group, was selected as the contractor to build the plant.Mr. Eric Vemer, CEO of Group Five, said: “To be awarded this unique African contract is a significant landmark for Group Five and testimony to our progression over the years from a pure contractor to a group able to deliver a broader infrastructure, from development to design, construction to operation, and project management to maintenance.”

Mr. Theo Sackey, Cenpower’s CEO, commented: “As a proudly Ghanaian business entity, we will focus on supplying fuel-efficient, reliable and sustainable electricity, while developing local capacity via a training and skills transfer programme.”

Africa Finance Corporation (‘AFC’) is the lead project developer and a controlling shareholder in Cenpower. Oliver Andrews, AFC’s Chief Investment Officer and Cenpower’s Project Director, concluded: “We, as Africans, are extremely proud of what has been achieved to date and the long list of firsts that this project has generated. We are most grateful to all our partners and advisers who have worked so hard to bring this project to the construction phase.”

This is the first independent power project (‘IPP’) to receive over 80% of the debt finance from African banks and African financial institutions. It is also Ghana’s first licensed thermal power plant and the first project financed greenfield thermal plant. It is also Sumitomo’s first thermal IPP investment in Africa – a testimony to the growing attractiveness of Ghana as an investment destination for major power projects.


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