Pan-African industrial company Eranove and its partners sign the concession agreement for three solar mini-grid projects (Essor) in northern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)

Kinshasa, June 3, 2021 – Along with Gridworks Partners and AEE Power Ventures, pan-African industrial company Eranove has signed a 22-year concession agreement with the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), represented by the Congolese Minister of Water Resources and Electricity, Mr. Olivier Mwenze Mukaleng. The agreement covers the design, development, financing, construction, production, operation, upkeep, marketing, distribution and maintenance of three solar mini-grids in the towns of Gemena, Bumba and Isiro, in northern Democratic Republic of Congo. The signing ceremony was also attended by the Governors of the three provinces concerned, the UK Ambassador to the DRC and the Coordinator of the Project Coordination and Management Unit (UCM), a management body attached to the Ministry of Water Resources and Electricity.

Following an international call for tenders launched in January 2019, Eranove and its partners were awarded the “Essor” project to supply 460,000 residents in the three townw, selected because of their lack of reliable, affordable and clean operational alternative solutions for electrification in the short and medium term, despite their dynamic economies. The company Moyi Power, “the power of the sun” in Lingala, was formed to carry out the project.

Initiated by the Congolese Ministry of Energy and Hydraulic Resources (MERH) in partnership with the UK government, the “Essor” project is a model of distributed renewable energy generation by virtue of its size and scale, and will eventually serve 1.4 million people.

Moyi Power will implement isolated local power grids that will supply electricity to homes and businesses from renewable sources such as solar and wind power, independent of the national grid.

The development of the three sites will be funded to the tune of approximately $100 million (€82 million) through a mix of consortium equity, debt provided by development finance institutions (DFIs) and equity grants. Following financial closure and completion of other contractual arrangements, Moyi Power will begin construction of the three power plants and associated distribution networks.

« This signing marks the actual launch of a major development project – for both Eranove and the DRC – for improving access to electricity. It is a public-private partnership model that combines local African and international expertise to meet the specific needs of users and optimise natural resources. The mini-grids are a perfect example of the virtuous model that our company is promoting on the continent, since they make it possible to supply energy to isolated and energy-deprived areas, making up for the lack of infrastructure while ensuring a continuous supply of electricity and quality services. This innovation supplements the highpotential interconnected networks to respond to the challenges of economic and social development and the fight against global warming. Once again, we thank the Congolese government for its trust and all our partners for their support, », said Eranove CEO Marc
Marc Albérola

Alongside Eranove, which handles the operation and maintenance of generation and distribution facilities as well as marketing, this international consortium includes Gridworks Partners, a development and investment platform specialising in off-grid electricity transmission and distribution in Africa, wholly owned by CDC, the UK’s development bank, and AEE Power Ventures, which has electricity infrastructure construction operations in 13 African countries.

« We are delighted to be kicking off this new venture that is Moyi Power. We are thrilled to be
working alongside Eranove and AEE Power Ventures and we’re proud to serve the Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo and its people
», said M. Simon Hodson, CEO of Gridworks.

Chairman of AEE Power, José Ángel González, said « AEE Power has been involved in the African energy sector for many years, particularly in the DRC. We are thrilled to be a part of the Essor project alongside our consortium partners and the government of the DRC. We are convinced that bringing in private capital and expertise is essential for the development of the continent’s power distribution sector and we are delighted to be part of this pioneering project. »,

DRC’s Minister of Hydraulic Resources and Electricity, Mr. Olivier Mwenze Mukaleng,concluded by saying « This project is a milestone for the Democratic Republic of Congo, which
can rely on its considerable natural and renewable energy resources to overcome the electricity production deficit while at the same time responding to the challenge of environmental and climate transition. The Essor project provides sustainable access to the energy needed to improve living conditions and increase economic opportunities. Gemena, Bumba and Isiro are just the start!

At a time when the Democratic Republic of Congo is aiming to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 17% by 2030 but access to electricity is at just 10%, the Essor project, which will ultimately equip an additional 23 communities, is also expected to have a significant impact on climate change by cutting carbon emissions through the displacement of diesel production.

In a similar solid and sustainable public-private partnership approach, Eranove has financed and structured projects that it now operates in Côte d’Ivoire, (Atinkou 390 MW combined cycle gas-steam power plant, Cavally river hydroelectric project), Gabon (Ngoulmendjim 73 MW and Dibwangui 15 MW hydroelectric power plants, and the 140,000 m3/day Orélo drinking water plant), Togo (Kékéli 65 MW combined cycle gas-steam power plant), and Mali (Kénié 56 MW hydroelectric power plant) amongst others.

Also in Côte d’Ivoire, Eranove’s utility management subsidiary, Compagnie Ivoirienne
d’Électricité (CIE), operates the Production, Transmission, Distribution and Marketing of electricity on behalf of the State of Côte d’Ivoire. CIE is also rolling out the Électricité Pour Tous (PEPT) programme, which has connected 1,022,000 households to electricity services over the 2015-2020 period, with low-cost subscription connections and installation kits.