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Turbines arrive for ground breaking wind farm in Africa

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The first wind turbines have been erected on Cape Verde in the first commercial scale Public Private Partnership wind farm development in Sub-Saharan Africa. When fully completed in October the four wind farms will mean Cape Verde achieves its ambitious renewable energy goals ahead of schedule.

The ground breaking Cabeolica project, which has been developed by InfraCo Africa, comprises of four wind farms across the largest islands of Cape Verde. When completed, it will produce up to 100 GWh a year, benefiting nearly 95% of the population (about 475,000 inhabitants) and achieving the country’s target of ensuring that 25% of its local power needs are provided by renewable energy by 2012.

This project means that Cape Verde will lead the way in wind energy production in Sub Saharan Africa.

“Projects like Cabeolica are key to meeting Africa’s energy needs, securing economic growth and reducing poverty” said Mr. Keith Palmer, Chairman of InfraCo. “Cape Verde is also one of the only places in the world where Government subsidies will not be needed to make the project economically viable.

Abraao A. Lopes, General Director of Energy said today “Currently the country spends large amounts importing fuel oil from abroad, much of which will now be replaced by clean and cheap wind power, saving the Government around €12 million per year.  Located in the trade wind belt with strong and constant winds, Cape Verde is one of the best locations in the world for wind power.

Cabeolica sets a precedent of Project Finance PPP in Cape Verde and creates a strong renewable development model replicable across the region” adds Fabio D. Borba, Lead Developer of the Project and CEO of Cabeolica during development.

The €60million project was developed and part funded by InfraCo Africa as a public-private partnership with the Government of Cape Verde and the national power utility company, electra.  The remaining equity came from Finnish Fund for Foreign Investment (FinnFund) and Africa Finance Corporation (AFC). The African Development Bank also provided around €45million in debt financing.

ENDS

Notes to Editors

We can provide interviews with people involved in the project in Cape Verde or organise an visit to the site.  There is an official launch planned for August 2011.

About InfraCo Africa

Working in partnership with local and international sponsors, the aim of privately managed InfraCo Africa is to enable and support the mobilization of private sector investment and engagement in the provision of infrastructure and basic services.  InfraCo Africa is part of the Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG) which supports a variety of innovative initiatives to boost the development of infrastructure in emerging markets. PIDG is a group of European donor countries including the Netherlands, Austria, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom, which are the members funding InfraCo Africa.

InfraCo Africa recently completed the development of Cabeolica, a utility-scale wind farm in Cape Verde and one of the first utility-scale wind farms in Sub Saharan Africa.  The farm is currently under construction and is being financed with debt from the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the African Development Bank (AfDB).  InfraCo Africa has also developed an innovative multi-infrastructure project in Uganda that is currently under construction, a gas-fired combined-cycle power plant in Ghana with equity investor Africa Finance Corporation (AFC), and a bulk water irrigation and agricultural project in Zambia, with an accompanying pilot water project that is operating currently.

About eleQtra

eleQtra is a private development company and fund manager that focuses on creating investment opportunities in infrastructure projects in developing countries.  It applies commercial and entrepreneurial knowledge to bring about greater access to vital infrastructure including: water supply, transport links, improved agriculture techniques and electricity generation – where none would otherwise exist.  By building strong partnerships with governments, local communities and investors, its unique business model is based on creating readymade investment opportunities which help underpin economic growth in developing parts of the world. 

For further information please contact Sarah Norman on +44 20 7149 3716 sarah.norman@champollion.co.uk