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22 November 2016

EAIF invests US$25 million in new power station development at Freetown, Sierra Leone

“Signal to the world that the country is moving forward and welcomes international investment,” says Fund’s Executive Director

• Project is country’s first independent power producer

• Increasing electricity capacity in Freetown by approx 130%

A new company set up in Sierra Leone by a private sector joint venture is to build a 57MW, oil-fired, power station at Freetown, the country’s capital city. With a total investment of US$148 million, the CECA SL development will benefit from a US$25 million loan from the Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (EAIF). Sierra Leone’s economic development was hampered by the Ebola epidemic and creating the conditions for sustained development is of the highest national priority. The country has one of the world’s lowest levels of electrification.

It is estimated that less than 10% of the population currently has access to the electricity grid. Freetown, which has a population approaching 1 million people, will see the available electricity generating capacity increased by an average of 130% when the power station is complete.

Over 80% of businesses presently rely on their own diesel-fuelled generators. Business leaders say the lack of reliable power is one of the single biggest constraints on growth. Emilio Cattaneo, Executive Director of EAIF, says that the project finance announcement marks an era of renewed confidence in Sierra Leone and is a signal to the world that the country is moving forward and welcomes international investment.

“Reliable power is the oxygen of economic development and this project will not only improve business conditions and the lives of families across Freetown, but also help bring new self-confidence and optimism to Sierra Leone,” says Mr Cattaneo. In addition to construction of the main power plant, the project also involves building a new substation, work to the grid and a 2.5km fuel pipeline. 200 construction workers will build the plant and 42 permanent jobs created. CECA SL Generation Limited is a joint venture company set up by TCQ Power and Globeleq. Both companies have substantial experience in Africa and operate established businesses. Plans for the power station predate the Ebola outbreak and the company remained committed to the project throughout the epidemic.

Karim Nasser, Director CECA SL, says, “We greatly value the expertise and tenacity that EAIF and Investec have brought to our venture. They have helped us resolve many complex issues. We now look forward to beginning the construction phase and opening the plant for business.”

In tandem with providing debt for a 14-year term, EAIF acted as Structuring Bank alongside the International Finance Cooperation (IFC) as Mandated Lead Arranger. Other financial partners included the World Bank, the Dutch development bank (FMO), CDC and the African Development Bank (AFDB)

The World Bank is providing a political risk guarantee for the project EAIF is part of the donor-backed Private Infrastructure Development Group. EAIF is funded by the governments of the UK (DFID), Switzerland (SECO), Sweden (Sida) and The Netherlands (DGIS) and by private sector banks and development finance organisations. The Fund’s primary purpose is to stimulate private sector infrastructure projects that help develop new sustainable economic activity and new jobs, thus helping to reduce poverty. The Fund is managed by Investec Asset Management, one of the largest third party investors in private equity, credit, public equity and sovereign debt across the African continent.

Nazmeera Moola, head of EAIF at Investec Asset Management, says, “EAIF is often a pioneer investor in projects in fragile states recovering from natural disaster or conflict. Sierra Leone is a country of great economic potential and the leadership of CECA SL is to be congratulated for its enterprise and vision.”

The Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund is funded by:

Notes to Editors

The Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund

The Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund provides a variety of debt products to infrastructure projects promoted mainly by private sector businesses in sub-Saharan Africa. Established and substantially funded by the governments of The Netherlands, Switzerland, Sweden and the United Kingdom, the Fund works with private sector businesses, African and European banks and other development funds and agencies. It helps create the infrastructure framework that is essential to sustained economic stability, business confidence, job creation and poverty reduction. It has to date supported nearly 60 infrastructure projects across eight sectors in 20 sub-Saharan African countries.


For further information, please contact:

Investec Asset Management

Vian Sharif +44 (0) 20 7597 1834


Kotie Basson +27 21 416 1812



Martin Roche

+44 (0) 771 574 9621


The Private Infrastructure Development Group

The Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG) encourages and mobilises private investment in infrastructure in the frontier markets of sub-Saharan Africa, south and south-east Asia, to help promote economic development and combat poverty. Since 2002, PIDG has supported 133 infrastructure projects to financial close, of which 56 are fully operational. PIDG is a multilateral organisation, funded by donors from seven countries (UK, Switzerland, Australia, Norway, Sweden, Netherlands, Germany) and the World Bank Group.



Rebecca Goding

+44 (0) 20 3058 3182


About Investec Asset Management

Investec Asset Management is an independently managed subsidiary of Investec Group.

Investec Asset Management is a specialist investment manager, providing a premier range of products to institutional and individual investors. Established in 1991, the firm has been built from start-up into an international business managing approximately $117bn/R1.6 trillion * on behalf of third party clients. The business has grown largely organically from domestic roots in Southern Africa to a position where we proudly serve a growing international client base from the Americas, the UK and Continental Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Australia and Africa. The firm seeks to create a profitable partnership between clients, shareholders and employees, and to exceed expectations for both client service and performance.

*As at end September 2016


The information contained in this press release is intended primarily for journalists and should not be relied upon by private investors or any other persons to make financial decisions. All of the views expressed about the markets, securities or companies in this press comment accurately reflect the personal views of the individual fund manager (or team) named. While opinions stated are honestly held, they are not guarantees and should not be relied on. Investec Asset Management in the normal course of its activities as an international investment manager may already hold or intend to purchase or sell the stocks mentioned on behalf of its clients. The information or opinions provided should not be taken as specific advice on the merits of any investment decision. Telephone calls may be recorded for training and quality assurance purposes. Investec Asset Management is an authorised financial services provider.

March 2017

Lake Kivu project success covered in Jeune Afrique film

Leading French language publication, Jeune Afrique, ran a film in late January about KivuWatt’s unique facility in Rwanda. It is a story of technical success, business progress and delivering electricity’s benefits to ordinary Rwandans. The Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund helped to make the project possible.

Click here to go to video page on the Jeune Afrique site:


KivuWatt, la centrale électrique du lac Kivu… by Jeuneafriquetv

February 2017

Nigeria’s Guardian newspaper carries letter from EAIF Executive Director

EAIF’s Executive Director, Emilio Cattaneo, wrote to The Guardian newspaper in Nigeria about the work of EAIF in Nigeria and across sub-Saharan Africa. His letter was published on 3rd February. Click on the link to read the letter.

Read More

January 2017

Out of the Dark

EAIF Sierra Leone power project features in top US publication coverage of World Economic Forum

At the 47th World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting that wraps up today in Davos-Klosters, Switzerland, more than 3,000 participants from nearly 100 countries have been addressing topics under the theme “Responsive and Responsible Leadership.” A session on the opening day of the conference earlier this week said responding to Africa’s at once dire and promising energy gap is one way elected officials and company officials can responsibly pursue greater economic growth on the continent.

January 2017

Nigeria’s digital future strengthened by successful US$800 million IHS bond issue supported by EAIF

Bond “Boosted Nigeria’s ability to raise money on international capital markets”, says EAIF chairman

The Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (EAIF) has invested US$50 million in an US$800m bond issued by the Nigerian telecommunications tower business, IHS. EAIF and the International Finance Corporation were named anchor investors in the bond issue. Launched in early October, the bond was successfully marketed and details of EAIF’s investment can now be made public. EAIF is a member of the Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG).

December 2016

Uganda’s energy minister attends formal opening of his country’s largest solar farm

“Great benefits for this rural area” says EAIF’s Oscar Kang’oro

The Hon. D’Ujanga Simon, Uganda’s Minister of State for Energy, today (12th December) took part in a ceremony to mark the opening of his country’s largest solar farm, at Soroti in Eastern Uganda. The Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (EAIF) is one of the principal lenders to Access Soroti Ltd, the private sector company that built and is operating the plant. Electricity production began at the 10MW facility in late November.

Media Enquiries

Please address all media related enquiries to:

EAIF Media Contact

Investec Media Contact
Vian Sharif
UK, Europe, America and Asia
Woolgate Exchange, 25 Basinghall Street, London, EC2V 5HA
Tel: +44 (0)20 7597 1834
Email: Vian.Sharif@investecmail.com

Kotie Basson
South Africa, Africa and Middle East
36 Hans Strijdom Avenue Foreshore Cape Town 8001
Tel: +27 (0)21 416 1812
Email: Kotie.Basson@investecmail.com