Barclays Africa Group Ltd (Barclays Africa) today announced it has committed a minimum of US$500 million to a pipeline of proposed clean power projects that form part of the "Power Africa" initiative. This will increase the available power by up to 12 500 MWs in countries that participate in the programme. The aim of the initiative, which was launched last year by US President Barack Obama, is to improve access to electricity on the continent.
Several countries across Africa, including Kenya, Tanzania, Nigeria, Ghana, Liberia and Ethiopia, are taking part in the initiative to improve access to clean, reliable power for about 20 million new households and companies by 2018. According to recent reports, the scale of investment needed to achieve universal energy access in sub-Saharan Africa is about US$15 billion a year, every year through to 2030.
Over the past number of years, Barclays Africa has played a leading role as a partner to developers and to other banks on energy projects that span almost all the countries where it has a presence across the continent. According to Stephen van Coller, Chief Executive of the corporate and investment banking division of Barclays Africa, the company's extensive experience, gained over many years, positions it well to support the expected growth in the energy sector on the continent. "Barclays Africa has a long-standing reputation in Africa, playing a significant role in realising African governments' ambitions of sustainable and independent power supply," says van Coller.
In November last year, Barclays Africa secured mandates to provide ZAR10.8 billion worth of debt funding to a total of six projects, including Wind, Solar PV and Concentrated Solar Power under the South African government?s third Independent Power Producer (IPP) Procurement round. The breadth of projects demonstrates Barclays Africa's sector expertise. The biggest transaction was the Department of Energy IPP Peakers Power Project which was awarded Africa Power Deal of the Year for 2013 by Project Finance Magazine as well as African Renewable Energy Deal of the Year for 2013 by Project Finance International Magazine.
"Our sector focus and leadership demonstrates that we are well positioned to realise our vision of being the 'Go-To' corporate and investment bank in Africa," says Philip Lindop, head of Investment Banking at Barclays Africa. ?We expect the energy sector to continue to grow further in the coming decade. Given the need for power on the African continent, combined with increasing knowledge of and experience in how to execute these transactions, we expect that Barclays Africa will remain well positioned to partner with our clients in realising their ambitions," added Lindop.
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