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Powering West Africa

Region: Africa Investment date: 2009 Sector: Energy Infrastructure Exit date: 2015 Deal type: Acquisition and asset expansion Status date: Realised

For a large part of the 20th century, the Côte d’Ivoire was a model of prosperity in West Africa. Although its agriculture-dependent economy has undergone a difficult time as a result of political unrest, the country remains one of the largest economies in the region, playing a key role in transit trade for its neighbouring landlocked countries.

As the Ivoirian economy goes into an upward swing, there has been a consequent a surge in demand for all electricity, which has led to the development of projects such as the Azito power plant near Abidjan.

Azito is managed by Actis portfolio company Globeleq – a specialist developer and operator of power generation facilities across the emerging markets. Azito’s gas-fired plant uses indigenous natural gas resources, ensuring energy independence while also enabling Côte d’Ivoire to become an important electricity supplier to other parts of West Africa.

In October 2010, Globeleq committed to increase its equity stake in Azito from minority to a control position. This increased participation meant that Globeleq has been able to undertake a conversion of the existing plant from open to combined cycle, which increased output capacity from the previous 288MW to 425MW when the project completed construction in 2015.

At the time of Actis’ sale of Globeleq in September 2015, the company had 1,234MW of installed generation capacity across eight generation assets in five African countries (including Azito).

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