Standard Chartered invests $57m in energy firm

Standard-Chartered 113 March 2014, Lagos – Standard Chartered’s Private Equity Africa (SCPE) division has announced its first investment in Africa’s developing power sector.

The SCPE invested $57 million in Zambian Energy Corporation, the controlling shareholder of Copperbelt Energy Corporation Plc (CEC).

A statement yesterday said the structured equity investment equates to 25.8 per cent equity stake in CEC.

CEC Plc is an independent power transmission and distribution company in Zambia, and is listed on the Lusaka Stock Exchange.  The company’s core business consists of distributing power to the mines operating in Zambia’s Copperbelt, and transmitting power for ZESCO Limited, the Zambian national utility.

CEC Plc recently established CEC Africa (CECA), a Mauritius-domiciled platform company as its vehicle for power infrastructure investments in Africa, outside of Zambia.

CECA recently acquired two operating assets in Nigeria during the power sector privatisation programme. It acquired controlling interest in the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company and a 20 per cent stake in the 600mw Shiroro hydro plant.

Nigeria’s power privatisation initiative is expected to increase system-wide generation capacity and connectivity, while reducing costs and technical losses, thereby facilitating a self-sustaining power sector that supports the country’s economic growth.

CECA also has rich pipeline of development power assets in Zambia, Namibia and Sierra Leone.

The statement said Standard Chartered’s investment supports CECA’s pan-African expansion strategy, and was the first investment within the Bank’s $2 billion commitment to ‘Power Africa’, a public-private sector partnership launched by  the United States President, Barack Obama when he came to Africa last year.

The Chief Executive Officer of Standard Chartered Africa, Diana Layfield said the investment was the bank’s first contribution towards the ‘Power Africa.’  ‘Power Africa’ enables us to live our brand promise and be here for good, making a tangible difference in the lives of individuals,” he added.

The Managing Director for Corporate Development at CEC Plc, Michael Tarney said: “Our success in Zambia has given us the experience and capability to generate, transmit and distribute power in other African markets.

“We are excited about our two strategic acquisitions in Nigeria. Over time, we expect that the Abuja Disco will deliver consistent and reliable power to more than 750,000 customers in Nigeria. Capital investment of more than $180 million is anticipated in the business plan covering our distribution operations in Abuja, Niger, Kogi and Nasarawa States.”

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