West Africa IPP makes milestones

Independent power producer Cinergy SA has announced that it is to develop the largest thermal power plant in west Africa. The project is also the first private project to have been given a loan guarantee by the International Development Association (IDA).

The first unit of the Azito project in the Ivory Coast is expected to come on line in January 2000. The 228 MW plant will be developed on a build-own-operate- transfer basis by engineering group ABB under a $150m turnkey contract. The plant will be the biggest independent power project in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The $30.3m IDA guarantee paved the way for $223m of financing for the project, and in particular, was critical in mobilising $60m of commercial bank financing. It protects lenders against government failure to meet payments.

ABB will supply two GT13E2 gas turbines for the plant and will be responsible for balance of plant equipment, engineering and commissioning. With its joint venture partners, the company will be responsible for plant maintenance and operation for 15 years.

Cinergy, a joint venture between ABB, Industrial Promotion Services and Electricité de France, will sell the power under a 24-year power purchase agreement granted by the government.