AMEA Power, a subsidiary of UAE-based Al Nowais Investments (ANI), today announced the official commissioning of its 50MW solar photovoltaic (PV) plant in Blitta, Togo, marking the country’s first utility-scale renewable energy project developed by an Independent Power Producer and one of (IPP), the largest solar PV IPP plants in West Africa.
Built by AMEA Togo Solar, a subsidiary of AMEA Power, the plant, located 267km from Togo’s capital, Lomé, has a planned production of nearly 90,255 MWh of power per year. This will supply power to approximately 158,333 Togolese households per year, with 9% of energy generation feeding into the local Blitta distribution network, enough to meet demand in the area. The power plant will be operated for 25 years by AMEA Togo Solar, saving more than 1 million tonnes of CO2 emissions throughout its life. The plant is instrumental in supporting Togo’s ambitious US$8 billion 2018 – 2022 National Development Plan (NDP), which aims to achieve universal access to electricity by 2030 and to increase the share of renewables in the energy mix to 50%.
Officially named Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed, after His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, the PV plant has been delivered in record time, with just 18 months between the signing of the Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) and commencement of commercial operations.
AMEA Power also invested directly in community initiatives in Blitta, which positively impacted more than 100,000 people, by constructing (and providing equipment for) one new clinic and three new school buildings; renovating four schools; providing school supplies for 1,400 students; and installing a water pump at a local primary school. AMEA Power will provide electrification via solar power to the schools and clinics.
Moreover, AMEA Power’s internship program brought 36 engineering students from various technical institutions in Togo to the Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed PV plant, preparing them for employment by allowing them to apply their theoretical knowledge and develop their practical skills in renewable energies. Also, the construction of the power plant helped to create local employment opportunities, with 80% of plant workers hailing directly from Togo.
In response to COVID-19, AMEA Power distributed essential food and hygiene products to 8,500 families in nine countries across Africa, including 1,100 families in Togo. AMEA Power also distributed food and hygiene products to a further 8,000 families during Ramadan this year, which reached 1,100 families in Togo.
His Excellency Faure Gnassingbé, President of Togo, and AMEA Power’s Chairman, Hussain Al Nowais, attended an inauguration ceremony today [22nd June 2021] at the power plant site. Other high-profile attendees included the Prime Minister of Togo, Victoire Tomegah Dogbé; Minister Delegate to the President of the Republic, in charge of Energy and Mines in Togo, Mila Aziable; Director of Compagnie Energie Electrique du Togo (CEET), Laré Santiégou; Senior Advisor to the President of Togo, Shegun Adjadi Bakari; President of the West African Development Bank, Serge Ekué; and the Deputy Director-General of the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD), Khalifa Al Qubaisi.
The project was supported with concessional loans from the West African Development Bank (BOAD) and the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD). It was pre-funded on a balance sheet, and then refinanced, a unique model for a large-scale IPP project in Africa. This is indicative of the level of project certainty created by the NDP’s regulatory framework, which provided AMEA Power with the necessary level of assurance and comfort to embark on the project’s execution well in advance of the financing being arranged.
Mila Aziable, Minister Delegate to the President of the Republic, in charge of Energy and Mines in Togo, commented: “The development of the Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed PV plant is an excellent example of a successful Public-Private Partnership in Africa, with AMEA Power utilizing Togo’s committed implementation unit and favorable investment climate to pre-fund a large-scale renewable energy project on the balance sheet. We are delighted to have worked with a team of such highly-skilled professionals with demonstrated know-how in the energy sector.”
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