OPIC Announces Commitment to Contour Global’s Cap Des Biches 33 Megawatt Expansion Project in Senegal
New York, N.Y. — The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the U.S. Government's development finance institution, today announced their financing agreement with ContourGlobal for the 33 megawatt expansion project at ContourGlobal’s Cap des Biches power plant in Senegal. Announced at the side-lines of the U.S. – Africa Business Forum in New York City, OPIC has committed an additional $53 million in financing and $23 million in insurance, in support of the $154 million project that provides efficient and reliable electricity to the Senegalese grid by adding a total of 85.9 megawatt generation capacity, a 30 percent increase in overall functioning capacity. Cap des Biches is a modern, heavy fuel, oil fired thermal power plant that guarantees high efficiency levels and a lower cost of power thanks to its combined cycle technology.
“ContourGlobal and OPIC have a strong history of partnership underpinned by results, and Cap des Biches is a milestone project both for OPIC and our support to President Obama’s Power Africa initiative,” said Elizabeth L. Littlefield, OPIC President and CEO. “I look forward to its transformative effect on Senegal’s infrastructure and economic growth. It’s also an important step for OPIC’s energy presence in West Africa, an exciting region with tremendous development opportunity.”
“We’re proud to once again be partnering with OPIC and the Government of Senegal to deliver reliable, cost-effective and much needed power to West Africa,” said Joseph C. Brandt, ContourGlobal's President and Chief Executive Officer. “The Cap des Biches project was signed at the first U.S.-Africa Business Forum in Washington D.C. in 2014. Both the initial project and the expansion were constructed and placed into operations in record time, highlighting the effectiveness of OPIC and Power Africa in mobilizing private capital to critical energy projects and the urgency with which Senegal under President Mackey Sall is addressing the current electricity deficit. We look forward to continued successes with OPIC to ensure that other much needed African infrastructure projects become a reality.
Electricity is a development imperative and a prerequisite for sustained economic growth. It is estimated that Senegal must generate an additional 130 megawatts to meet its current needs. The Cap des Biches project plays a significant role in helping to meet the 5 to 8 percent annual growth in demand for electricity. SENELEC, Senegal’s national electricity utility, will be the off-taker for the power generated by the project.
The Cap des Biches project was OPIC’s first financing of a utility-scale power project in Senegal, and helps fulfill the U.S. development finance institution’s key role to carry out President Obama’s Power Africa initiative, which aims to add 60 million new electricity connections and 30,000 new megawatts in Sub-Saharan Africa. Construction of Phase I was completed in May 2016 and Phase II will go into operation next month.
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OPIC is the U.S. Government’s development finance institution. It mobilizes private capital to help address critical development challenges and in doing so, advances U.S. foreign policy and national security priorities. Because OPIC works with the U.S. private sector, it helps U.S. businesses gain footholds in emerging markets, catalyzing revenues, jobs and growth opportunities both at home and abroad. OPIC achieves its mission by providing investors with financing, political risk insurance, and support for private equity investment funds, when commercial funding cannot be obtained elsewhere. Established as an agency of the U.S. Government in 1971, OPIC operates on a self-sustaining basis at no net cost to American taxpayers.
All OPIC projects adhere to high environmental and social standards and respect human rights, including worker's rights. By mandating high standards, OPIC aims to raise the industry and regional standards of the countries where it funds projects. OPIC services are available for new and expanding business enterprises in more than 160 countries worldwide.
ContourGlobal is a developer and operator of electric power generation facilities located in 20 countries on 3 continents. The Company owns and operates a portfolio of 61 power plants in both thermal and renewable technologies, with approximately 4,000 megawatt of installed capacity in operation. The projects utilize a wide range of fuel types, technology, and equipment and are operated by 2,000 people working for ContourGlobal around the globe.