Facility for Energy Inclusion secures US$160m first close

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The pan-African renewable energy debt fund Facility for Energy Inclusion (FEI) has secured about US$160 million first close from commitments of the African Development Bank, the European Commission, KfW, the Clean Technology Fund, Norfund, and other investors. 

FEI is a targeted US$400 million fund to improve energy access across Africa through small-scale renewable energy and mini-grid projects. Spearheaded by the African Development Bank, FEI serves as a financing platform to catalyze financial support for innovative energy access solutions. The Bank, as the Facility’s anchor sponsor, has put up US$90 million in financing. That sum includes US$20 million that the Bank is providing in its capacity as the implementing agency of the Clean Technology Fund.

In addition to the Bank’s commitment, the European Commission committed EUR25 million (US$27.4 million) to the Fund, the Norwegian Investment Fund — also known as Norfund — committed US$23 million, and German Development Bank KfW committed EUR25 million (US$27.4 million). FEI will also include a US$10 million Project Preparation Facility (PPF) from the Global Environment Facility that will provide reimbursable grants for transaction advisory to facilitate financial close.

The Facility supports small-scale Independent Power Producers (IPPs) delivering power to the grid, mini-grids and captive power projects. Projects in sub-Saharan African countries where electricity access rates are comparatively lower receive priority. Other eligibility criteria include the requirement to use renewable energy technology, to have a capital expenditure of less than US$30 million and generation capacity below 25MW. Initial pipeline projects have been identified in Burundi, Cape Verde, Madagascar, Malawi, and Mozambique.

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