Angola borrows €1.3bn to bring solar power to the people

The construction of mini-grids powered by solar will bring electricity to remote communities such as these cottages in Malanje (Silvapinto/Dreamstime)
London-based bank Standard Chartered will lend the Angolan Ministry of Finance €1.3bn to build a distribution network for solar generated electricity, Global Trade Review reports.

Portuguese engineer MCA Group will manage the project for Angola’s Ministry of Energy and Water.

Some 200,000 households in 60 communities throughout the country will benefit.

The loan will pay for 48 solar farms with storage to power communities not connected to the national grid.

The money will also help extend the national grid in Malanje and other municipalities. This will help to diversify the country’s energy mix and, according to MCA, can save up to 7.9 megatonnes of CO2 emissions.

Of the €1.3bn, €1.2bn is guaranteed by German export credit agency Euler Hermes; the remaining €92m will take the form of a commercial loan.

Edna Schöne, executive board member at Euler Hermes, said many German small and medium-sized companies would be involved in the project.

Last August, MCA completed work on solar farms in Biópio and Baía Farta in western Benguela province. These had an installed capacity of 285MW, and have since provided energy to about 1.8 million people.

And in June last year, The US Export-Import Bank facilitated the mobilisation of $2bn to develop a solar project in Angola, including the development of solar mini-grids, home power kits and solar-to-power telecoms. This was followed by a $900m loan for a 500MW solar farm in June of this year.

Recently, the Angolan government has signed other deals financed by Standard Chartered, including a $1.1bn loan in September 2021 to develop water infrastructure.

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