NEoT Offgrid Africa (NOA) has concluded a debt securitization program with Zola Electricité Côte d’Ivoire (ZECI – joint venture of EDF and Zola Electric) which aims to equip more than 100,000 homes with solar kits domestic workers in Côte d’Ivoire, mainly in rural and peri-urban areas. NOA, majority-owned by Meridiam, is the first investment platform to set up a securitization program for receivables in the financing of off-grid energy projects in Africa. Its objective in this transaction is to reach a portfolio worth 40 million euros.
Thanks to this innovative financing mechanism, NOA allows ZECI to focus on the marketing and deployment of clean energy supply solutions in isolated areas. With its securitization program, NOA carries the financial risks in this “rent-to-own” scheme which allows customers to become owners of solar kits at the end of the rental period. In order to reach a predominantly unbanked population, payments are made via a mobile money platform.
NOA manages the financial structuring of the entire project. As part of this operation, NOA mandated Crédit Agricole CIB (CACIB), Société Générale CIB and Société Générale de Banques en Côte d’Ivoire (SGCI) to meet financing needs. SGCI has granted a loan in local currency (FCFA), the amounts of which will vary monthly depending on the characteristics of the client portfolio. The guarantees are provided by the African Development Bank (AfDB) and CACIB, while the Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation will be in charge of monitoring the social and environmental performance of the project.
Solar energy is particularly adapted to the African continent, being able to function outside the transport and distribution networks, thus making it possible to supply isolated households like whole cities. In its study ” The Grid won’t connect Africa but solar can “, the consulting firm Kleos Advisory estimates that nearly 120 million households (nearly 600 million people) do not have access to energy on the African continent. Each household spending an average of $ 200 per year on energy service, the market for companies offering off-grid solar solutions for individuals is estimated at $ 24 billion.
” NEoT Offgrid Africa is very proud to have implemented this innovative financing mechanism,” said Philippe Ringenbach, CEO of NEoT Capital. The financing needs of the energy sector in Africa are immense, but many obstacles persist for private investors. This operation will position NOA as a key player in the financing of household solar kits and other off-grid clean energy supply solutions such as mini-grids and commercial and industrial sector infrastructures (C&I), making it possible to provide a much wider access to energy for people and industries in Africa. ”
“ We are developing sustainable and resilient infrastructure with a particular focus on energy transition and access to energy in Africa, as illustrated by the 15 projects we develop, finance and supervise on the continent, adds Mathieu Peller, COO from Meridiam Africa. With this project led by NOA, we are contributing to the emergence of alternative financing methods and innovative solutions in the African energy sector, whose demand, particularly in the off-grid, is immense . ”
Source: Agence Ecofin