British International Investment signs $15m Energy Agreement

British International Investment (BII), the UK’s development finance institution (DFI) and impact investor, today signed an agreement to provide $15m with the potential to increase this to $25m, to renewable energy platform Rift Valley Energy (RVE), owned and managed by Meridiam. The funding will support part of RVE’s ambitious investment and development plan for future renewable energy projects in Tanzania.

The DFI’s support will contribute to the financing and installation of new wind and hydropower capacity – increasing the national grid’s supply of sustainable and affordable electricity to businesses and communities in low-income areas in rural Tanzania. The projects will sit alongside RVE’s existing run-of-river hydros as well as the only operational wind farm in Tanzania – Mwenga Wind.

RVE, a Tanzania-based renewable energy infrastructure development company, is wholly owned by Meridiam, an independent investment Benefit Corporation and an asset manager that specialises in the development, financing, and long-term management of sustainable public infrastructure. Meridiam acquired RVE in 2023 with a view to grow its generation assets.

RVE owns, operates and is developing a portfolio of 30MW of renewable energy generation alongside its subsidiary Mwenga Power Services, which operates two rural distribution networks (460 km long); all of which are located in the Southern Highlands of Tanzania. Beyond RVE, Meridiam recently invested in 100MW of wind assets in Kenya reinforcing its regional footprint in renewable energy. BII has partnered with Meridiam over several years, investing in past and current funds, which have successfully developed major greenfield and brownfield infrastructure projects in Africa.

National electrification rate in Tanzania is 37 per cent and as low as 24 per cent in rural areas. With the financing from BII, RVE is expected to support an additional 7.6MW of new renewable energy assets which will provide power to about 170,000 people per year and connect 4,000 businesses and households to the grid for the first time. The provision of clean and affordable power to local industries including factories that process tea, veneer, timber as well water and pole treatment plants is expected to create 1,800 jobs.

BII’s Chief Executive Officer, Nick O’Donohoe, during his week-long visit to East Africa including Tanzania, said: “Millions of people in Tanzania do not have access to energy and this greatly impacts on their ability to access essential services and opportunities. This agreement with Meridiam to support Rift Valley Energy will improve the lives of thousands of people in rural Tanzania as the energy it will provide will empower many sectors which will help to enhance educational opportunities, healthcare services, job creation and industrial productivity.”

Meridiam’s Deputy CEO and Africa Head, Mathieu Peller said: “Rift Valley Energy is an investment which is true to Meridiam’s mandate and purpose, and we are pleased to partner with BII to grow the renewable energy projects being developed by the company. This facility affirms our confidence in Tanzania as a market, where the Government has clear and ambitious economic development plans which we look forward to supporting through sustainable investment.”

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