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OPIC Announces Commitment to ContourGlobal's Cap Des Biches 33 Megawatt Expansion Project in Senegal

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

(OPIC)  New York, N.Y. — The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the U.S. Government's development finance institution, today announced their financing agreement with ContourGlobal for the 33 megawatt expansion project at ContourGlobal’s Cap des Biches power plant in Senegal. Announced at the side-lines of the U.S. – Africa Business Forum in New York City, OPIC has committed an additional $53 million in financing and $23 million in insurance, in support of the $154 million project that provides efficient and reliable electricity to the Senegalese grid by adding a total of 85.9 megawatt generation capacity, a 30 percent increase in overall functioning capacity. Cap des Biches is a modern, heavy fuel, oil fired thermal power plant that guarantees high efficiency levels and a lower cost of power thanks to its combined cycle technology.

“ContourGlobal and OPIC have a strong history of partnership underpinned by results, and Cap des Biches is a milestone project both for OPIC and our support to President Obama’s Power Africa initiative,” said Elizabeth L. Littlefield, OPIC President and CEO. “I look forward to its transformative effect on Senegal’s infrastructure and economic growth. It’s also an important step for OPIC’s energy presence in West Africa, an exciting region with tremendous development opportunity.”

“We’re proud to once again be partnering with OPIC and the Government of Senegal to deliver reliable, cost-effective and much needed power to West Africa,” said Joseph C. Brandt, ContourGlobal's President and Chief Executive Officer. “The Cap des Biches project was signed at the first U.S.-Africa Business Forum in Washington D.C. in 2014. Both the initial project and the expansion were constructed and placed into operations in record time, highlighting the effectiveness of OPIC and Power Africa in mobilizing private capital to critical energy projects and the urgency with which Senegal under President Mackey Sall is addressing the current electricity deficit. We look forward to continued successes with OPIC to ensure that other much needed African infrastructure projects become a reality.

Electricity is a development imperative and a prerequisite for sustained economic growth. It is estimated that Senegal must generate an additional 130 megawatts to meet its current needs. The Cap des Biches project plays a significant role in helping to meet the 5 to 8 percent annual growth in demand for electricity. SENELEC, Senegal’s national electricity utility, will be the off-taker for the power generated by the project.

The Cap des Biches project was OPIC’s first financing of a utility-scale power project in Senegal, and helps fulfill the U.S. development finance institution’s key role to carry out President Obama’s Power Africa initiative, which aims to add 60 million new electricity connections and 30,000 new megawatts in Sub-Saharan Africa. Construction of Phase I was completed in May 2016 and Phase II will go into operation next month.