Azura Power Acquires Stakes in Senegal’s 115MW Genco

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Chineme Okafor in Abuja 

Azura Power has disclosed its acquisition of stakes in Senegal’s 115 megawatts (MW) Tobene power plant through its pan-African baseload generation platform.

It disclosed this in a statement made available to THISDAY, stating that the investment brings together Actis which is its majority shareholder with Africa50.

The power company explained that the 115MW Tobene power plant was part of the Melec Power Gen (MPG) portfolio but now forms part of its pan-African power generation platform. 

Azura Power is a developer, financier, acquirer and operator of Independent Power Plants (IPPs) across Africa. It is the owner of Nigeria’s first privately project financed IPP – the 461MW Azura-Edo IPP now operating near Benin City in Edo State. 

According to the statement, the new investment in Tobene would ensure that Actis and Africa50 work committedly with stakeholders to complete the conversion of the Tobene plant, to be fueled by gas. 

“Azura Power, together with Africa50, will also invest in the remaining assets in the MPG portfolio over time, and Africa50 is also expected to invest in future projects undertaken by Azura Power,” said the statement. 

It quoted the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Azura Power, Alan Muir, to have said about the investment: “We are delighted to be making this investment in the Tobene power plant to help drive our growth in thermal power plants in Africa.”

“A key part of the investment strategy for Azura is to convert the Tobene plant from HFO (heavy fuel oil) to gas, as part of Senegal’s Emerging Senegal Plan (PSE), in order to drive down the cost of power as well as improve the environmental impact of the plant,” Muir added.

Similarly, the statement quoted Partner at Actis, Adrian Mucalov to have also said: “We have invested over $1 billion across Africa in the electricity sector and we are deeply committed to the continent. 

“We take our responsibility to the countries, cities and communities in which we operate extremely seriously, and we are excited to be investing in a business that will directly contribute to the economic growth of Senegal.”

Also, Raza Hasnani, Head of Infrastructure Investments at Africa50 explained that Africa50 was, “very excited to make this investment in Senegal’s power sector.”

“It underlines our strong commitment to Senegal’s progress, and we believe that our platform is well-positioned to drive the conversion of the plant to gas,” Hasnani noted.

The statement stated that Actis has raised over $15 billion since inception from leading global asset managers including pension funds, sovereign wealth funds and development finance institutions, and was a leading investor in growth markets, with a long-standing commitment to best practice responsible investing and to supporting the economic development agenda of its host countries. 

The company, it added has a broad portfolio of investments across Asia, Africa and Latin America, with $5 billion already committed to its energy business in 34 energy investments in over 20 countries which translates to more than 25,000MW of power for over 100 million people across its markets.

Africa50 on the hand it said, is an infrastructure investment platform that contributes to Africa’s growth by developing and investing in bankable projects, catalysing public sector capital, and mobilising private sector funding, with differentiated financial returns and impact. 

It noted that Africa50’s investor base comprised of 28 African countries, the African Development Bank (AfDB), the Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO), and Bank Al-Maghrib, with over $876 million in committed capital.

Firm Laments Activities of Fraudsters as Court Orders Destruction of N42m Fake Polish 

David-Chyddy Eleke in Awka

SC Johnson, the maker of Kiwi brand of shoe polish has lamented the activities of fake producers of their brand, describing them as economic saboteurs.

Nigeria’s representative of the company, Mr Sam Anyanwutaku, stated this to journalists, during the destruction of about 201,600 tins of fake Kiwi shoe polish worth over N42 million in Awka, Anambra State on Monday. 

Anyanwutaku had previously obtained an order for the destruction of the fake products from a Federal Hight Court in Awka, presided over by Justice Nature Gafai.

Anyanwutaku, Managing Director of Asco Nigeria Limited, whose company represents SC Johnson in Nigeria commended the judiciary for the judgement which he noted, would help end the efforts at economic sabotage by the illegal importers.

He said, “This is worrisome. We spend a lot of money to track this importers of fake kiwi shoe polish. 

“They will rather fake other people’s product instead of starting their own brand name. They know that our product is of high quality and they leverage on the brand name which is already popular, to cheat the unsuspecting users.”

The fake shoe polish, were intercepted in a warehouse in Onitsha after they were imported by undisclosed importers, who had ordered them for sales to unsuspecting members of the public.

Justice Gafai in the order directed that the products be burnt in the presence of a court bailiff, police officers, officials of the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) and journalists.