Scatec Solar has signed a Joint Development Agreement (JDA) with Africa50, an African Infrastructure fund sponsored by the African Development Bank and more than 20 African States and Norfund (the Norwegian Investment Fund for Development Countries), securing investment into the 100 MW (dc) Nova Scotia Power plant located in Dutse in the Northern Nigerian state of Jigawa.
The project has the potential to significantly contribute to the plan of the authorities of the State of Jigawa to attract USD 2 billion of investments into Jigawa and implement Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari’s plans to provide jobs and economic opportunities especially for the nation’s youth.
Alain Ebobisse, CEO, Africa50; His Excellency Ibrahim Hassan Hadejia, deputy governor of Jigawa State; Terje Pilskog, executive vice president, Scatec Solar; Børge Brende, the Norwegian foreign minister and Mark Davis, investment director, Norfund.
The signing ceremony of the JDA was attended by Børge Brende, the visiting Norwegian foreign minister, His Excellency, Barrister Ibrahim Hassan Hadejia, deputy governor of Jigawa State, as well as officials from the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading among others.
His Excellency Ibrahim Hassan Hadejia, deputy governor of Jigawa State says new local power generation capacity is “a key element to attract sizeable investment” into the region and especially new industries such as light manufacturing and agricultural processing.
Executive vice president, Terje Pilskog, who signed the JDA on behalf of Scatec Solar says “the formation of this consortium is a strong symbol of the Norwegian and Nigerian commitment to invest in clean energy in Nigeria”.
“With the Government of Norway taking a direct investment role through Norfund, significant regional and Nigerian ownership through Africa50, and the track-record of Scatec Solar, this offers one of the most solid partnerships for solar PV projects globally,” he adds.
“I am pleased that Africa50 is already making its first investment, which fits in squarely with our priority to light up and power Africa,” says Dr Akinwumi Adesina, president of the African Development Bank (AfDB) and chairman of Africa50’s board of directors. Africa50 has been created by African governments, including Nigeria, the African Development Bank and institutional investors to mobilise private sector for funding infrastructure projects in Africa. Alain Ebobisse, Africa50’s CEO notes: “Access to reliable energy is one of the most critical needs in Africa, including in Nigeria, where it is a government priority. I look forward to deepening the relationship with the authorities of Nigeria, one of our key shareholder countries, and to supporting more projects in this and other infrastructure sectors.”
Apart from the three equity investors, the American Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), Islamic Development Bank and the African Development Bank are expected to be senior debt providers for the project. International Finance institutions say the key to successful investment is the Nigerian state’s issue of project documents that provides necessary investor confidence and the formulation of a clear roadmap to sustainability in the energy sector.
With an estimated investment of USD 150 million, a production of 200 000 MWh of electricity per year and 120 000 tons of CO2 emissions avoided annually, the Nova Scotia solar plant will help Nigeria rapidly increase its generation capacity, provide economic opportunities, fight desertification caused by climate change, and contribute to fulfilling Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari’s commitments to develop renewable energy as part of the Paris Climate Change Agreement.
In July, the Nova Scotia project signed a 20-year PPA with Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading (NBET).
Nigeria is Africa’s largest and the world’s 26th biggest economy. With Nigeria’s per capita electricity consumption at 155 kWh, one of the lowest in the world, there is a huge need to increase power production in order to expand and diversify the Nigerian economy.