US offers NDPHC $1.5bn loan for solar power infrastructure in Nigeria

Samuel Agbelusi

Niger Delta Power Holding Company (NDPHC) has secured a $1.5 billion loan from the US-EXIM bank to finance solar power infrastructure, which is expected to be developed by Sun Africa in ten(10) different locations across the country.

This was confirmed by Chiedu Ugbo, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, NDPHC and Adam Cortese, Chief Executive Officer Sun Africa.

US-EXIM bank is the first facility to be provided by the United States’ government for the development of solar infrastructure in Nigeria, having successfully executed a similar project   in Angola which was also developed by Sun Africa LLC, a renewable energy provider.

Speaking on the deal, NDPHC MD said the company will utilise the loan facility to provide solar power at 10 sites starting with five locations.

He further noted that the solar power project has passed through feasibility studies, technical analysis and land-permitting phases in the past two years, which has made it due for loan processing with the export credit agency.

EnergyDay gathered  that the loan was a government-to-government facility on a concessional rate over 20 years.

According to Adam Cortese, the NDPHC will own the assets, which he said would not only generate low cost electricity but also enable the company to pay back the loan.

Cortese stated, “I think the important point to note here is, yes, it’s a government-to-government loan, from the US-EXIM Bank to the government of Nigeria, but it’s being done at a concessional rate; over a 20-year tenure, which is extremely attractive.”

“What’s unique about this model is that NDPHC is going to own its own assets. So, it’s going to own its own generation base and our project will deliver a low levelised cost of electricity, which will not only allow them to pay back the loan from EXIM Bank, but generate a profit on top of it.”

EnergyDay gathered that Sun Africa, the developer of the project, has executed a similar project in Angola with a $2billion dollar credit facility. The Nigerian project is expected to be managed by the NDPHC, a government’s intervention company, upon completion.