Enhancing access to power is a key priority for IFC and the World Bank Group. An estimated 1.2 billion people live without electricity, almost all of them in developing countries and nearly half in Africa. For those who do have access, supply is often irregular and expensive, making studying, charging cell phones or cooking much more difficult. Firms in developing countries cite electricity access more frequently than any other obstacle to doing business.
Learn more about IFC's work in infrastructure.
Since 2001, when IFC advised Cameroon on privatizing its power sector, new owner-operator AES Sonel has invested more than $1 billion connecting close to 340,000 people to its system. IFC financed the company’s 216 MW Kribi project, the first commercial use of Cameroon’s substantial offshore natural gas reserves. In addition to providing €60 million in direct financing to the €263 million project, IFC coordinated a larger loan package from partner institutions, and worked with the World Bank on an IDA partial risk guarantee to facilitate Cameroon’s first long-term, local currency loan for infrastructure.
Bujaglai Hydropower Project
The IFC-World Bank-supported 250 MW hydropower plant on Uganda’s River Nile meets close to 50 percent of the country’s power needs. The plant, which replaced older, less-efficient, and less-clean thermal power plants, has almost doubled the country’s electricity generation capacity, addressing the severe power shortages.
IFC partnered with Azito Energie in Cote d’Ivoire to modernize the Azito Thermal Power Plant, in which IFC first invested in 2000. Azito’s modernization seeks to expand operations by converting the plant to a combined cycle operation, adding two heat recovery steam generators and a 139 MW steam turbine. IFC provided Azito with a $125 million loan to finance this expansion. In addition, IFC acted as lead global arranger of the project mobilizing an additional $350 million debt package.
Singida Wind Farm
IFC developed a partnership with Aldwych and Six Telecoms to develop a 100 MW wind farm in Singida, Tanzania, enhancing power supply reliability, decreasing the need for costly fuel imports, and helping fight climate change. The Singida project seeks to be the country’s first successful, independent wind energy power project. The total project cost is estimated at $285 million, of which IFC, Aldwych, and Six Telecoms will contribute $18 million during the development stage and $71 million in total equity.
IFC partnered with Abengoa Solar in South Africa to provide an innovative financing package to support the region’s first concentrated-solar power plants, a technology that uses mirrors to reflect and concentrate rays of sunlight to heat steam that can power turbines. The KaXu project consists of a 100 MW parabolic trough CSP plant, while the Khi will be a 50 MW steam receiver power tower. Both plants will sell electricity to the state-owned utility Eskom under 20-year power purchase agreements.