CrossBoundary Energy Access and ENGIE Energy Access Partner to Electrify 150,000 People in Nigeria with $60 Million Mini-Grid Project

CrossBoundary Energy Access (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.

The agreement is a significant development in the African mini-grid space, as it represents one of the largest private investments in mini-grids in Africa to date. It is also a testament to the growing potential of mini-grids to provide clean, reliable, and affordable electricity to underserved communities in Africa.

Under the agreement, CBEA will provide the private capital for the transaction and will own the projects. ENGIE will develop and build the mini-grids and provide long-term operations and maintenance services.

The mini-grids will be powered by renewable energy sources, such as solar and battery storage. This will help to reduce Nigeria’s reliance on fossil fuels and contribute to its climate change mitigation goals.

The project is expected to create jobs and boost economic growth in the communities where the mini-grids are built. It will also improve access to education, healthcare, and other essential services.

Tessa Dignam, Senior Legal Counsel at CrossBoundary, says, “CrossBoundary Energy Access is excited to collaborate with an experienced developer like ENGIE. This partnership demonstrates an innovative and flexible approach taken to advance renewable energy solutions in Africa. Financing structures like the one between CBEA and ENGIE in Nigeria provide a framework for bringing even more private capital into the sector.”

Bankole Cardoso, Country Director ENGIE Energy Access Nigeria, says, “This partnership is a huge step forward for us in our 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.”

Humphrey Wireko, Managing Director at CrossBoundary Energy Access, says, “This investment would not be possible without the enabling environment created by Nigeria’s mini-grid regulations, the World Bank, REA, and the NEP program. We look forward to building a foundation in Nigeria and will look to expand our project financing approach to other markets with similar enabling environments.”

Onyinye Anene-Nzelu, Head, Mini-Grids, ENGIE Energy Access Nigeria, says, “This partnership shows what is possible within the off-grid decentralized renewable energy industry, in Nigeria and across Africa. It is a signal as well to other investors to come to Africa and become partners in progress to bridge its huge energy gap.”

The partnership between CBEA and ENGIE is an innovative example of how private capital can be used to finance mini-grid projects in Africa. It is also a model that can be replicated in other African countries with similar enabling environments.

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