Nigeria: Abiba Solar
Unlocking northern Nigeria's solar potential
Nigeria is Africa’s most populous country, with a population in excess of 175 million people. In spite of strong economic growth in recent years, access to basic services, including electricity, has been hampered by limited infrastructure and ongoing security and fuel supply issues. Around 93 million Nigerians lack access to modern electricity and rely upon kerosene and traditional biomass for cooking and lighting. Businesses with grid connection experience an average of 33 power outages per month, significantly higher than the sub-Saharan average. In a bid to address the country’s power deficit, the Government of Nigeria has privatised the energy sector, creating an enabling environment for private investment and leadership. Nigeria’s Renewable Energy Master Plan (2006) identifies the importance of exploring the potential of renewables in the country’s energy mix. The Master Plan specifically acknowledges the potential of Nigeria’s high solar irradiation levels, setting an ambitious target of 500MWp of solar power generation by 2025.
The project will construct a 50MWp ground-mounted solar PV facility to integrate with existing grid infrastructure. The plant will be built on a 150ha site at Manchok in Nigeria’s Kaduna State. It is anticipated that the project will achieve Financial Close in 2019. Abiba will be the first privately developed renewable power plant in Kaduna State.
This landmark investment was originated through the Access Co-Development Facility (‘ACF’) inaugural competition in 2015. The ACF is a financial support mechanism designed by Access Power to provide local project developers and originators with the technical experience, expertise and funding required to bring their renewable energy projects to life. InfraCo Africa will be co-financing the project, providing up to US$1.65m to finance the last development activities being undertaken by the project ahead of Financial Close.
InfraCo Africa is publicly funded and mandated to mobilise private sector financing within challenging markets, it therefore has considerable experience of financing and developing projects in fragile and post-conflict states and countries. InfraCo Africa knows that infrastructure projects can proceed safely in fragile areas, with appropriate monitoring and effective responses to perceived security challenges. Kaduna State has experienced some instability and insurgent action which poses a security risk for international investment. However, having undertaken extensive due diligence, InfraCo Africa have confidence in the project and are committed to demonstrating the potential for investment into solar power in Kaduna State. The proposed power plant also has strong support from the Governor of Kaduna, it will serve to bridge the widening service gap between the North and South of Nigeria and deliver clean, affordable power to the national grid.
Development is being led by Access Power.