Nigerian power plant gets $879m investment

While investors cringe over market uncertainties and pull back investments, principal investment firm, Amaya Capital Ltd has invested $879 million in the the 450MW Azura-Edo Independent Power Project in Edo State, Nigeria.

“We are excited at the prospect of this landmark transaction opening the doors for additional much needed financing across the whole power sector to bring electricity to Nigeria,” says Dr. David Ladipo, Managing Director of Azura Power Holdings Ltd.

The financing of the Azura-Edo IPP involves $190 million of equity and $686 million of debt from a consortium of local and international financiers.

Azura is majority owned by Amaya Capital, the founder and lead sponsor of the project and American Capital Energy & Infrastructure. Other equity investors in the Azura-Edo project include funds managed by African Infrastructure Investment Managers (“AIIM”), Aldwych Azura Ltd and the ARM-Harith Infrastructure Fund.  The completion of financing for Azura represents the second major infrastructure investment by Amaya Capital, the first being Seven Energy, the gas infrastructure company. Through its investments in Seven Energy and Azura, Amaya Capital has been the lead sponsor and active investor in two companies responsible for the deployment of over $3 billion of capital in the gas and power segments of the energy sector in Nigeria.

“We see Azura and Seven Energy as solid platforms for further investments in the energy infrastructure and power generation sector, and we are actively developing new opportunities in this area,” Mr Sundeep Bahanda and Mr. Phillip Ihenacho, co-founders of Amaya Capital said.

The Azura-Edo IPP comprises a 450MW open cycle gas turbine power station; a short transmission line connecting the power plant to a local substation and a short underground gas pipeline connecting the power plant to the country’s main gas-supply.  It represents the first phase of a 1,500MW power plant facility. This first phase of the plant, which is targeted to come on stream in 2017, is forecast to create over 1,000 jobs during its construction and operation and to supply over 12 million people in Nigeria.

The fundraising was led by Standard Chartered Bank as Global Mandated Lead Arranger, with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), Financierings-Maatschappij voor Ontwikkelingslanden (FMO), Rand Merchant Bank (RMB) and First City Monument Bank (FCMB) acting as Mandated Lead Arrangers and the Core Lender Group.