Energy Access (CBEA) that will build a portfolio of mini-grids connecting over 150,000 people to electricity in Nigeria has won the Transaction of the Year (Renewable Energy/Off-Grid) award at the 2022 Nigeria Power Sector Awards.
In October of this year, CrossBoundary Energy Access and ENGIE Energy Access Nigeria, signed the largest mini-grid project finance transaction in Africa to build a pipeline of mini-grids in Nigeria over the next four years. Over 150,000 people in communities that have never been connected to the national grid will now be supplied with electricity. ENGIE has designed and developed the mini-grids, CBEA is financing the development and construction activities and will own the projects.
ENGIE will also provide long-term operations and maintain services for the mini-grids and ensure that the residential, commercial, and productive use customers receive clean, reliable electricity while delivering high-quality and customer centric services.
The ENGIE/CBEA’s project finance agreement was recognized as the Transaction of the Year for Renewable/Off Grids at the Nigerian Power Sector Awards 2022 because it addressed a number of key metrics: size of the transaction ($60 million), impact in terms of the number of customers to be positively affected and connected, an an innovative approach that can be replicated across Africa, extent of industry collaboration, degree of innovation, and envisaged productive use and capacity usage component.
The Awards celebrate organizations and individuals in the Nigeria Electricity Supply Industry (NESI) for their contribution and innovation toward the improvement and growth of the nation’s power sector.
Prof. Bart Nnaji, a former Nigeria’s Minister of Power, performed the formal presentation of the award to the company, which was received by Onyinye Anene-Nzelu, Head of Mini-Grids, ENGIE Energy Access Nigeria. Commenting on the award, Bankole Cardoso, Managing Director, ENGIE Energy Access Nigeria, said the award was significant because it acknowledged the efforts by the company to deploy innovative solutions to solve the problems of low access to electric power in unserved and underserved communities in Nigeria and Africa as a whole, especially in the off-grid communities.
‘‘We are very happy to receive this prestigious award and we thank the organisers for this recognition. Inadequate funding is a significant barrier to bridging the energy access gap and our partner CrossBoundary Energy Access (CBEA) has consistently demonstrated an ability to raise funds in this very important sector. We are glad to be executing this project with them and to have closed this deal.’’ he said.
Gillian-Alexandre Huart, Chief Executive Officer of ENGIE Energy Access noted that on the back of the award and the important work of bridging Africa’s energy gap, the company would continue to invest in research and development with a view to coming up with more innovative, cost-effective solutions to the energy challenges across Africa. ‘‘Creating access to reliable electricity for people, families and businesses is key to bolster economic growth and improved livelihoods. This award is a further motivation for us to continue to lead from different fronts and with relentless efforts to chart the way forward for the energy sector in Nigeria, and Sub-Saharan Africa,’’ he stated.
ENGIE Energy Access is a division of ENGIE, a global reference in low-carbon energy and services. Sub-Saharan Africa has the world’s lowest energy access rate – with over half of its people unconnected. Solving this growing problem requires grand-scale innovation and this is what ENGIE Energy Access offers. As a leading Pay As-You-Go and mini-grids solutions provider in Africa, ENGIE Energy Access’ mission is to deliver affordable, reliable and sustainable energy solutions and life-changing services with exceptional customer experience.