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CrossBoundary Energy Access, ENGIE to build $60m mini grids in Nigeria

CrossBoundary Energy Access Nigeria (CBEA) and ENGIE Energy Access Nigeria (ENGIE) have announced a project finance agreement to build a $60 million portfolio of mini-grids that will connect over 150,000 people to electricity in Nigeria.

CBEA will provide the private capital for the transaction, and will invest the private capital alongside the Performance Based Grant (PBG) funded by the World Bank and administered by Rural Electrification Agency (REA) and the Nigeria Electrification Project (NEP).

Under the agreement, CBEA will finance all of the development and construction activities, and will own the projects; while ENGIE developed a pipeline of mini-grids to build over the next four years.

ENGIE will also provide long-term operations and maintain services for the mini-grids and ensure that the residential, commercial, and productive use customers receive clean, reliable electricity while delivering high-quality and customer-centric services.

“We’re excited to work in partnership with CrossBoundary Energy Access to finance this portfolio of mini-grids in Nigeria. This deal reflects our long-term commitment as a leading provider of energy access solutions in Africa. Most importantly, this agreement will connect marginalized rural populations in Nigeria with clean and affordable technologies and facilitate more economic opportunities in these hard-to-serve areas,” Gillian-Alexandre Huart, CEO, ENGIE Energy Access stated.

Read also: Clean Energy: Nigerias FCMB lights 3,000 homes and businesses in six months

According to Huart, ENGIE is expanding on its energy access track record across Africa, and sees huge value in the development of the mini-grid business in Nigeria. “Promoting productive usage is key to growing resilient economic networks in these areas”.

According to him, the agreement represents further progress in the African mini-grid space as it will expand access to energy to grid-unserved communities, creating economic growth and increasing socio-economic welfare in the community.

Annette Mumbi, associate director at CrossBoundary Energy Access, stated that the agreement with ENGIE is another milestone towards closing the gap on more than 600 million people in Africa who lack access to electricity.

“CBEA has improved our project financing approach for mini-grids to deploy capital faster and more efficiently by investing from procurement. These improvements enable developers to build mini-grids and deliver electricity to more people at a faster pace,” Mumbi stated.

Bankole Cardoso, Country Director, ENGIE Energy Access Nigeria stated that the partnership is a huge step forward for ENGIE in its mission to not only impact lives through affordable, reliable, and sustainable energy solutions but to also improve economic productivity in communities across Nigeria.

“With this partnership, we will connect thousands of households in four years and have a direct impact on the agricultural productivity, light scale construction, and industrial activity in the communities thereby increasing the earning potential of over 150,000 individuals across Nigeria,” Cardoso stated.

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