Infrastructure project development fund IFC InfraVentures and Norwegian company Scatec Solar have agreed to develop a 33MW solar plant in Mali with an investment of $55m.
The facility will be built in partnership with local developer Africa Power 1, near Segou in South-East Mali, 240km from Bamako.
Featuring approximately 130,000 photovoltaic modules, the solar plant is expected to generate around 60,000 megawatts hour (MWh) power annually.
Said to be the first utility-scale solar plant in West Africa, the Segou project is in line with the country’s plan to meet increasing demand in the region.
Scatec Solar CEO Raymond Carlsen said: “After several years of development efforts in the region, we can now move forward with the first utility-scale solar IPP in West Africa.
“The Malian authorities have demonstrated decisive will to tackle the nagging issue of power supply.”
Power generated from the Segou facility will be sold to Malian Ministry of Energy and Water and Electricité du Mali (EDM), the electricity utility of Mali, under a 25-year power purchase agreement.
Scatec Solar will be responsible for operation and maintenance of the plant.
Scatec Solar will have 50% stake in project while World Bank’s IFC InfraVentures and Africa Power 1 will own 32.5% and 17.5% stakes respectively.
World Bank Mali Country director Paul Noumba Um said: “We believe that this project can have a strong demonstration effect and pave the way for a series of renewable energy projects in the country.”