The Paris-based, independent power producer, GreenWish Partners, has said that it will be investing $280 million to build solar-power plants in Nigeria. The plants will be expected to start producing electricity in the first quarter of next year.
According to the Chief Executive Officer, Charlotte Aubin-Kalaidjian, a solar plant in the south-eastern state of Enugu will produce 100MW, while the company will build two other solar plants of 50MW each in the northern Kaduna and Jigawa states. He also stated that the power project will be funded 70% through debt and 30% through equity and on completion will provide power to 2.5 million people.
“We only take risks where solar makes sense, where it is competitive and where there is political support,” Aubin-Kalaidjian said.
“This government is very committed to developing power and renewables, especially in regions where there is no gas available.”
Speaking on the issue of foreign exchange, Aubin-Kalaidjian said;
“It creates a challenge when the industry has their business linked to the Naira,” Aubin-Kalaidjian said.
“So it’s important to take that into account and structure properly.”
The Naira-Dollar exchange rate has resulted in a power-purchase agreement with the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading Plc, to enable GreenWish sell power generated from the solar plants to the national grid. The transactions are in the local currency but denominated in dollars to hedge against naira-value fluctuations, Aubin-Kalaidjian said.