GCPF catalyzes first grid-connected solar assets in Botswana

GCPF has provided long-term debt financing to the first grid-connected solar PV projects in Botswana. The equity provider is the developer Sturdee Energy (“Sturdee”), an independent power producer focused on Sub-Saharan Africa. The projects, Bobonong (3MW) and Shakawe (1MW), have power purchase agreements (PPAs) with the Botswana Power Corporation (BPC), the state-owned utility for 25 years. The signing of these PPA’s marks a major milestone in Botswana’s clean energy commitments –  targeting the reduction of its carbon emissions and reducing its reliance on fossil fuel generated electricity.

To win the projects, Sturdee took part in a competitive tender for grid-tied solar projects issued by the Botswana Power Corporation (BPC). As part of the tender/award, they have also committed to local content requirements, such as using local labour and services in the project execution and ongoing operations. The solar assets are being financed on a nonrecourse project finance basis via two special purpose vehicles in Botswana.

Both projects are currently under construction and will reach commercial operations before the end of 2022. Sturdee Energy is not only responsible for the development and construction of the two power plants, but also for ongoing operations, as they have significant expertise in all phases of development.

The lifetime emissions savings of these projects is expected to be 344,255 tonnes of CO2.

Monya Bassingthwaighte, Principle at the Global Climate Partnership Fund, said, “We are excited to support Sturdee and BPC to implement these first-of-their-kind projects in Botswana. We hope this first small step will be demonstrative and help pave the road for future projects of this nature in the country. It has been a pleasure to work with Sturdee’s experienced team and I look forward to supporting them in future transactions across the region.”

Monique Jordaan, Sturdee Energy’s Head of ESG, highlighted Sturdee Energy’s appreciation for responsAbility’s support in realising these two projects that are already paving the way for the swift adoption of solar energy in Botswana. She said, “responsAbility has been integral to the projects’ success through its impact investment approach and understanding of challenges pertaining to financing smaller projects in Africa. Through its Technical Assistance programme, responsAbility has ensured that the projects have had access to top-tier technical, legal and environmental consultants and have been developed and constructed in accordance with the Global Standards and the IFC Performance Standards. This will ensure that the projects will leave long-lasting contributions to not only the country as a whole, but also the communities they find themselves in.”

About Sturdee Energy

Sturdee Energy is an independent power producer that develops, finances, owns, and operates renewable energy projects in Sub-Saharan Africa with operations in South Africa, Namibia, Botswana and Eswatini. Sturdee has a track record of delivering over 600MW of operating solar projects. The Company’s vision is to deliver economic growth and socio-economic development to Africa through the supply of reliable renewable energy. www.sturdee-energy.com

About the Global Climate Partnership Fund (GCPF)

The Global Climate Partnership Fund is an investment company under Luxembourg law. It was established by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU), KfW Entwicklungsbank and the International Finance Corporation (IFC) in 2009 as a public-private partnership. Junior catalytic capital is provided by BMU, the department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) of the UK, Denmark’s development cooperation (Danida). Other private and public investors include ASN Bank, Ärzteversorgung Westfalen-Lippe, FMO, OeEB, Sparkasse Bremen, the European Investment Bank (EIB) and Heilsarmee.

About responsAbility Investments AG

responsAbility Investments AG is a leading impact investor focused on private debt and private equity across emerging markets. Founded in 2003 and headquartered in Zurich, it has invested over USD 12 billion since inception and has a strong performance track record. With over 200 employees, collaborating from seven offices, the company invests across three distinctive themes to directly contribute to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): Financial Inclusion, to finance the growth of Micro & SMEs; Climate Finance, to contribute to a net zero pathway; and Sustainable Food, to sustainably feed an ever-growing population. responsAbility is part of M&G plc, the international savings and investments business, and contributes to enhancing M&G’s capabilities in impact investing.

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