Nigeria’s blackouts used to cost citizens money and time. Regular power outages forced millions of people to rely on expensive, polluting diesel generators, and cut into business profits, work productivity, and school schedules. The culprit? A weak electricity grid and insufficient generation capacity.
Azura, a new gas-fired power plant supported by IFC, is changing that. When it begins commercial operations in mid-2018, 14 million Nigerians will be able to turn the lights on, run their refrigerators, charge their computers, and operate their businesses without the threat of a power cut. Because Azura draws from the country’s reserves of natural gas, it also eases the way toward a less carbon-intensive economy.
This award-winning initiative is Nigeria’s first privately-financed independent power project (IPP), a model that’s expected to provide a “bankable template” for future privately-financed power deals. The $813 million financing project included about 20 other financing partners that may now consider similar solutions in the future—paving the way to even more private investment.
IFC focuses on supporting private infrastructure projects whose innovative, high-impact business models can be widely replicated.