According to the EIB, the project will finance minigrids in Madagascar to households, business and other infrastructure facilities without access to reliable electricity supply. The electrification programme will generate a significant social, development and environmental impact, while providing a sustainable and reliable supply to un-served or under-served local communities that are currently relying on polluting and expensive fossil fuels.
The project aims at providing access to clean and affordable energy for households and enterprises in Madagascar by financing the development and construction of about 145 small PV-hybrid mini-grids. The mini-grids with a total PV capacity of 3.2 MWp are expected to directly benefit about 38,000 households and SMEs, providing initial electrification or substituting polluting and more expensive diesel-generated electricity supply.
WeLight Madagascar’s access to energy initiative (a €28 million project) will receive €19 million in financing from the EIB, Triodos Investment Management and EDFI ElectriFI — the EU-funded Electrification Financing Initiative.
WeLight existing shareholders (Axian Group, Norfund, and Sagemcom) will cumulatively bring the remaining €9 million in the form of shareholder loans.
Axian Group, Sagemcom, and Norfund jointly invested to start WeLight-Africa, and they are currently its main shareholders.
According to the company's website, WeLight is a rural electrification operator that identifies, designs, deploys and operates solar and hydro mini-grids in rural areas. To date, WeLight successfully operates 40 villages in Madagascar and Mali. In Madagascar, WeLight has deployed 35 villages in 6 regions in 3 years, representing more than 6,000 homes and businesses connected to 24/7 electricity for 30,000 direct beneficiaries. In Mali, WeLight launched its activities in 2021 with the installation of 5 solar mini-grids and is already serving more than 300 households in the country, for a total of more than 1,800 direct beneficiaries.
WeLight’s ambition is to replicate this approach in over 200 new sites by 2023.
WeLight was born out of the desire of three leading economic players, with an established track-record in Africa, to join forces to accelerate rural electrification on the continent. These three major shareholders are:
Axian Group - a diversified group present in five business areas with strong growth potential: telecommunications, financial services, energy, innovation, and real estate. With more than 4900 employees in the Indian Ocean and Africa, Axian is a partner in the economic transformation of emerging countries. It is a member of the United Nations Global Compact Initiative.
Norfund - Norway's sovereign development bank manages US$ 2.6 billion AUM in developing countries. It supports the creation of sustainable businesses in emerging markets, in particular by improving access to reliable electricity.
Sagemcom - a European group that specializes in network equipment with a unique expertise in installing mini grids and smart metering solutions in over 20 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa.
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EIB's Regional Representation for Southern Africa and the Indian Ocean:
5 Greenpark Estates
27 George Storrar Drive
Groenkloof 0181 Pretoria (Tshwane)
Address in Madagascar: Bâtiment Ariane 5B, Zone Galaxy, Andraharo, Antananarivo
Phone number for Madagascar: +261348100004
Axian Group Headquarters:
Address: Siège Axian Group Kube D, Zone Galaxy, Andraharo, Antananarivo - Madagascar BP 12007
Phone number: +261 20 22 368 68
Norfund Head Office:
Address: Fridtjof Nansens plass 4, N-0160 Oslo, Norway
Phone: +47 22 01 93 93
Address: 250 route de l'Empereur, 92848 Rueil-Malmaison Cedex, France
Phone: +(33) 1 57 61 10 00
Project contacts not available at the time of disclosure.
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