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US-based American Capital Energy and Infrastructure (ACEI) has agreed to invest US$130mn in the company developing the Azura-Edo power project in Edo State, Nigeria
The Azura-Edo project, being developed by Azura Power Holdings, is a 450 MW open-cycle gas turbine power station coming up near Benin City. It is the first phase of development of a planned 1,000 MW power plant project for the city.
Azura said the investment from ACEI will go towards the development of the first and second phases of the project, as well as for future acquisitions.
The first phase of the Azura-Edo power project is expected to come onstream by 2017.
The company has estimated 1,000 job creations during the development of the first phase of the project.
Earlier this year, Azura signed a power purchase agreement with the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading.
ACEI, on the other hand, has joined the Power Africa initiative proposed by US President Barack Obama, which is aimed at improving Africa’s access to clean and reliable source of electricity.
The investment vehicle is pursuing power projects in west Africa, east Africa and southern Africa, with plans to develop, finance and operate regional energy infrastructure assets. It has estimated that total investments in these projects could touch US$800mn over the next four years.
ACEI chief executive officer Paul Hanrahan said, “This is a good example of the type of investments that we target in high growth platforms in energy infrastructure. Significant progress has been made by the Azura co-founders on the first phase of the project. There are good growth opportunities in the Nigerian and west African markets and our confidence grows in Nigeria's power sector reform programme.”
Azura managing director David Ladipo said, “ACEI's investment will transform our business and accelerate Azura's drive to create a flagship, multi-asset, power generation company. We are committed to the creation of an indigenous business that will provide electricity to the people of Nigeria and boost the country's industrial growth, its job creation and social welfare.”