General Electric and other companies have committed to investing more than $9 billion in President Obama’s Power Africa plan to bring more than 10,000 MW of electricity to sub-Saharan Africa.
The US government will invest more than $7 billion in financial support over the next five years to develop geothermal, hydro, wind and solar energy, and help countries build out power generation and transmission, according to a White House fact sheet.
Power Africa will also receive billions from US and international companies — which stand to make a good deal of money from providing power to Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria and Tanzania.
The White House says it has received initial commitments from seven private-sector partners, which will support the development of more than 8,000 MW of new electricity generation. These commitments include:
- General Electric commits to help bring online 5,000 MW through its technologies, expertise and capital in Tanzania and Ghana.
- Heirs Holdings commits to $2.5 billion of investment and financing in energy, generating an additional 2,000 MW of electricity capacity over next five years.
- Symbion Power commits to $1.8 billion in investment to support 1,500 MW of new energy projects in Power Africa countries over the next five years.
- Aldwych International commits to developing 400 MW of wind power in Kenya and Tanzania, which will represent the first large-scale wind projects in each of these countries, and an associated investment of $1.1 billion.
- Harith General Partners commits to $70 million for wind energy in Kenya and $500 million across the African power sector via a new fund.
- Husk Power Systems will install 200 decentralized biomass-based mini power plants in Tanzania, providing affordable lighting for 60,000 households.
- The African Finance Corporation will invest $250 million in the power sectors of Ghana, Kenya and Nigeria, catalyzing $1 billion in investment in sub-Saharan Africa energy projects.
GE will likely be the biggest beneficiary of the $7 billion in US taxpayer dollars that will underwrite Power Africa, Forbes reports. Federal guarantees will reduce the company’s financial risks in Africa and give it a competitive advantage against Chinese companies looking to invest in Africa.
Last month, GE signed an MoU with the Ghana government to build a 1,000 MW power plant, Ventures Africa reports. Forbes says this plant would likely be fueled with natural gas from the multi-billion-dollar Jubilee offshore field, in which Texas-based Anadarko Petroleum has a large stake.