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Breaking new ground with Sindila hydropower

Construction work has begun on the new hydropower plant in the foothills of the Rwenzori mountains, Uganda. It is expected to come into operation in September 2018
© FAIR

In Africa, generation deals with apparent potential are numerous, the funding earmarked for such projects is readily available and yet … the additional generation actually brought on line from year to year is an ongoing disappointment for a continent in desperate need of reliable electricity. How can this situation persist? Fieldstone Africa – which has been a leader in power and infrastructure transactions in Africa for over 20 years – has recently launched a development resource subsidiary with a novel solution in mind. The first results suggest there may be a new way to tackle this problem that can assist in bringing projects to fruition.

The Sindila hydro project in Uganda was just such an instance. The 5.25 MW project had preliminary support from funders (OPIC and KfW), a key sponsor in place and most of the development work in hand, but was thrown for a loop by the departure of a key sponsor backing the transaction. Into this breach stepped Fieldstone Africa Investment Resources (FAIR), as an invitee of all the parties. FAIR needed to offer more than the typical range of advice from an advisory firm – hands on development, plugging a hole in development resources and steadying the project were all part of FAIR’s assignment. This was just the kind of “partner and bring to close” mandate that FAIR was designed to implement and a lot more common a predicament than one thinks.

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