As stated by the IFC, the proposed investment is up to US$5 million redeemable preferred equity investment in Congo Energy Solutions Limited (Nuru), a Mauritius holding company, to finance the development and construction of up to 15 MW of solar-hybrid mini-grid projects in Democratic Republic of Congo.
Nuru’s near-term pipeline of mini-grid projects includes:
(a) 3.7 MW solar project in Goma (referred to as “Goma-II”): The project is being developed on a land plot of 4.5 hectares, which was owned by private individuals. The expected start dates of construction and operation are June 2023 and December 2023, respectively.
(b) 2 MW solar project in Kindu (referred to as “Kindu”): the project is being developed on a land plot of 7.0 hectares, which was owned by a non-governmental organization and a private individual. The expected start dates of construction and operation are June 2023 and June 2024, respectively.
(c) 8 MW solar project in Bunia (referred to as “Bunia”): the project is being developed on a land plot of 25 hectares, which was owned by a private company. The expected start dates of construction and operation are June 2023 and June 2024, respectively.
The mini-grids are disconnected from any public grid and will operate on an independent basis. These projects are expected to provide relatively more affordable and reliable electricity to 28,000 households and businesses in DRC that currently have expensive, unreliable or no access to electricity. Nuru is at different stages of discussions with three main classes of off-takers: (i) Telecom, (ii) water pumping stations and substations; and (iii) agri-processing and milling companies. Nuru is also in talks with smaller off takers – national banks, construction materials industries and water bottling factories.
The projects will be 100% owned by Nuru. Nuru will construct and operate the Project through Nuru SARL, its wholly-owned DRC-domiciled and focused subsidiary that currently owns and operates the 1.3 MW Goma mini-grid project mentioned above. The company is still in the process of appointing the engineering procurement and construction (EPC) contractor. The operation and maintenance for these projects will be managed by Nuru. The distribution network will be medium voltage - 11 kV line for Goma and 33 kV lines for Kindu and Bunia.
According to the IFC, the project is expected to have limited environmental and social impacts which are expected to be site-specific and can be avoided or mitigated by adhering to recognized performance standards, procedures, guidelines and design.
The IFC is considering an investment of US$5 million from its own account and US$5 million from Finland-IFC Blended Finance for Climate Program.
From the IFC's website:
CESL, a Mauritius holding company, was founded in August 2015 as Kivu Green Energy SARL and is headquartered in Goma. It is majority owned by three shareholders – its founder Jonathan Shaw, Energy Access Ventures, a Sub-Saharan Africa-focused early stage investment fund, and ElectriFi, an impact investment facility funded by the European Union. CESL is expected to have other new minority investors by the time of IFC’s investment.
Nuru SARL is CESL's subsidiary in the DRC.
Nuru was founded in August 2015 as Kivu Green Energy SARL. Nuru has its headquarters in Goma and an office in Beni, DRC, Nuru has developed, built, and commissioned three projects to date:
> 35 kW non-commercial solar hybrid pilot: Operational since November 2016, this is a solar photo-voltaic (PV)/lead-acid storage system that provides 24/7 electricity to the campus of non-profit Christian Bilingual University of Congo.
> 55kW commercial pilot solar hybrid: Operational since July 2017, this is the first commercial solar mini-grid project in DRC and provides power to Beni. The plant combines a 55kWp PV plant, 26kW/120kWh of storage capacity (with lead-acid battery) and 60kW of diesel genset. The system offers 10 hours of service while a diesel backup generator provides 4 hours of service.
> 1.3 MW Goma 1 solar mini-grid project: Operational since 2020, The project is the largest solar mini-grid in DRC and one of the largest in Africa. It is located south-west of Goma, DRC. Clients of this project include water pumping stations, telecom towers, gas stations and clustered milling stations. Nuru expects other small and medium enterprise (SME) and household clients.
Nuru also owns and operates its transmission network (from each plant) and its distribution network to customers. This typically includes 11 kV and 33 kV overhead lines.
|Private Actor 1||Private Actor 1 Role||Private Actor 1 Sector||Relation||Private Actor 2||Private Actor 2 Role||Private Actor 2 Sector|
|-||-||-||-||E3 Capital||Parent Company||Finance|
|-||-||-||-||Energy Access Ventures||Investor||Energy|
General IFC Inquiries - IFC Communications:
Address: 2121 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington DC 20433
Client - Congo Energy Solutions Limited:
Addresses of each of the 3 sites:
Address of the corporate office: 2nd Floor, The Axis, 26 Cybercity, 72201, Ebène, Mauritius
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