African Development Bank finances Mali’s first large-scale PV project with $25 million

The Segou Solar PV Plant will have a capacity of 33 MW and will be located in Segou approximately 240 km north-east of Bamako, Mali’s capital city. The project will be built on land that is publicly owned and includes the installation of 2.8 km of 33 kV transmission line.

The project will be implemented by the special purpose vehicle Segou Solaire SA, which is a unit of Norwegian solar company Scatec Solar. The Norwegian developer is building the project in partnership with IFC InfraVentures and the local developer Africa Power 1. Scatec Solar will own 50% of the PV plant, while IFC InfraVentures and Africa Power 1 will hold stakes of 32.5% and 17.5%, respectively.

Segou Solaire has a 25-year Build, Own and Operate &Transfer (BOOT) concession agreement with the Malian Ministry of Energy and Water and a 25-year power purchase agreement with local utility Énergie du Mali (EDM) for the project.

The project has a required investment of about €52 million ($54.8 million) and is part of the $839 million Scaling Up Renewable Energy in Low Income Countries Program (SREP), a funding window of the Climate Investment Funds for the development of renewables in developing countries.

The government of Mali aims to increase the share of renewable energy in the national electricity mix to 25% alongside a target for rural electrification of 61% by 2033.

A report published by the AfDB in 2015 points out that Mali has the capacity to be one of the largest solar-producing nations in the world with its seven to 10 hours of sunlight per day year-round.