Mali has signed an agreement with a Norwegian renewable energy specialist to build west Africa’s first industrial-scale solar power plant, the company announced in a statement on Friday.
Oslo-based Scatec Solar said it had signed up to build the 52 million-euro ($58 million) unit near the southwestern city of Segou and run it for 25 years.
“This landmark agreement signals the government’s commitment to meet the nation’s growing energy demand and to provide clean, renewable and affordable energy to our people,” energy minister Mamadou Frankaly Keita was quoted as saying.
The plant is expected to produce enough electricity each year to power 60,000 typical family homes, while cutting annual carbon dioxide emissions by about 46,000 tons.
“After several years of development efforts in the region, we can now move forward with the first utility-scale solar plant in west Africa,” Scatec Solar CEO Raymond Carlsen said.
“The Malian authorities have demonstrated decisive will to tackle the nagging issue of power supply.”
Scatec will own 50 percent of the Segou plant while the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation will hold 32.5 percent, leaving the remaining equity to local partner Africa Power 1.
The project is to be funded by a combination of traditional bank borrowing, a loan from the World Bank’s Investment Climate Fund and equity contributed by the partners.
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