French firms Qair & STOA set up renewables investment platform for Africa

AFRICA – French renewable energy independent power producer Qair, and STOA, the investment holding company created by the Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations (CDC) and the Agence Française de Développement (AFD), has launched a renewables investment platform for Africa, MIHIA Holding (Make It Happen In Africa), in which they respectively hold 51% and 49%, reports Renew Africa.

“We have high hopes for the MIHIA platform, dedicated to electricity generated from renewable energy sources on the African continent. This long-term partnership is based on the trust and the quality of the relationship we have developed with Qair, early-stage integration of a robust E&S component in project development, on the ground collaboration with local authorities and populations and the complementarity of our interventions and skills,” said Marie-Laure Mazaud, STOA’s Deputy CEO.

According to Qair and STOA, their willingness to invest in renewable energy projects in Africa stems from their shared belief that there is a great need for massive investments in low-carbon energy in many African countries, whose electricity sectors often prove to be unreliable and extremely costly for both public authorities and end-consumers.

MIHIA’s first project in Burkina Faso

Through the Make It Happen In Africa platform, the parties will develop their first project in the Zano area, which is in the department of Tenkodogo in Burkina Faso.

The solar energy project will be developed in partnership with the Burkinabé company, Syscom Network and is scheduled for commissioning during the second half of 2022.

“The Zano Burkina Faso project is the first significant achievement of this partnership and will be followed by others in the country and throughout the continent,” added Marie-Laure Mazaud, STOA’s Deputy CEO.

The solar energy facility will have a power capacity of 24MWp, and an annual production of 48,000 MWh and the 54,500 panels of the Zano solar power plant will supply renewable electricity to nearly 75,000 homes.

The project is expected to create around 200 jobs during the construction phase, with a further 20 permanent jobs opened for the operation phase while another hundred employees will be seasonally hired for site maintenance and solar panel cleaning during the operation phase.

The development of the renewable energy plant will avoid 25,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions yearly. The Zano power plant will help Burkina Faso in its fight against climate change, contributing to the reduction of the country’s critical fossil fuel dependency.

“The implementation of the MIHIA platform reasserts our ambition to become a key player in the rolling out of renewable energy within Africa and provides us with means to speed up future developments in Burkina Faso and the rest of Africa,” said Louis Blanchard, CEO of Qair.

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