Israel’s Energiya Global to build Liberia’s first 10 MW plant; invest $1 billion to African PV

Liberia’s president has signed an agreement with Israel’s Energiya Global allowing the Israeli company to finance and build a 10 MW solar PV plant at Roberts International Airport, which is located about 56 km outside of Liberia’s capital city Monrovia.

“We are proud to be involved in the creation of cutting-edge, clean energy for Liberia,” said Remy Reinstein, Energiya Global’s country director. “We are honored to have the seal of approval from president Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia and prime minister Netanyahu of Israel, whose initiatives have made the sustainable development of Liberia possible.”

Upon completion, the 10 MW plant will supply 25% of the country’s generation capacity. This might sound a very high percentage, however Liberia is an extreme case.

Power infrastructure was entirely destroyed due to the civil war, which ended in 2003. Therefore, the country needs to rebuild its power system from scratch. Speaking at last year’s Africa Energy Forum in London, Liberia’s minister of lands, mines and energy Patrick Sendolo said the ministry is seeking $1 billion of international funding to invest in the country’s power sector in the next 4 to 5 years, and the priority is to develop the grid and build substations. Energiya Global said its investment in Liberia for the 10 MW plant will reach $20 million.

Energiya Global: $1 billion in 15 African states over the next four years

Furthermore, on Friday Energiya Global, the state of Israel and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) also signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the Israeli firm to invest $1 billion over the next four years to advance green energy power across the 15 member states of ECOWAS.

ECOWAS member states include Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Côte d’Ivoire, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Senegal and Togo.

“We are prepared to finance and build the first National Demonstration Solar Projects in all ECOWAS-affiliated countries, in order to promote political stability and social and economic development, as well as to advance knowledge transfer,” said Energiya Global CEO Yosef I. Abramowitz.

Jerusalem-based Energiya Global invests in emerging markets, looking for “countries that are growing fast and are hungry for energy,” said the firm. Currently, it focused on solar energy projects, however “in the future the company plans to develop hybrid solutions combining solar with other renewable energy sources.” Energiya Global works with international financing partners and governments from around the world.

On his recent visit to Liberia, Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu addressed the 15 West African heads of state of ECOWAS saying that “Israel is coming back to Africa.” Israel will cooperate with Energiya Global to finance projects in the ECOWAS countries.

The Israeli firm and its associated companies have developed the first commercial scale solar field in sub-Sahara Africa in Rwanda, which is supplying 6% of the country’s power. The group is also working on a similar project in Burundi, which upon completion by the end of the year, will supply 15% of the country’s electricity.  Finally, Energiya Global has projects at various stages of development in ten African countries.

pv magazine will attend the Africa Energy Forum 2017, which takes place this week from 7 to 9 June in Copenhagen, Denmark and report on the continent’s latest solar PV developments.