By Ruth Carol Atieno

Tembo Power, the project developer for the 14.7 MW Kaptis hydro-power project, has signed a Joint Development Agreement (JDA) with Metier, an independently owned private equity fund manager, along side its partner WK Construction, a leading contractor in the field of hydro-power in sub-Saharan Africa.

“I am pleased to welcome EAIF/Ninety One and Finnfund to our consortium for the actual construction of Kaptis. These two lenders are major players in the African infrastructure sector with specific knowledge of Kenya’s regulatory environment and demonstrated success in financing small hydro-power projects in Sub-Saharan Africa. This is another significant step towards financial closing later this year,” said Raphael Khalifa, Founder of Tembo Power. 

The agreement allows the partners to appoint lenders and prepare for financial closing expected to happen this year, and start construction.

Tembo Power’s partner Humphrey Mulindi identified the site and conducted preliminary investigations to assess its potential in 2013, after which the development of the hydro-power plant, in Western Kenya, began.

Additionally, Tembo Power has expanded its wings and are developing two other hydro-power projects, 17 MW and 24 MW. With the main aim of providing clean, reliable and affordable hydro-power to Western Kenya. These projects have been developed in partnership with WK Power, the investment arm of WK Construction.

The Kaptis project will be part of the Metier Sustainable Capital International Fund II, which recently achieved a first close of 113m. Metier has been successful in private equity, alternative assets and related advisory services. It has the necessary experience in the renewable power and infrastructure sectors in sub-Saharan Africa.

“The signature of the JDA marks the next positive step in our relationship with Tembo Power. We are excited about the prospects of the Kaptis hydropower project as well as the broader Tembo Power portfolio, which fits in well with the fund’s strategic focus on small to medium-scale renewable energy projects across the continent and we are looking forward to making an investment into the Kenyan energy sector and delivering clean energy in support of the Kenya Power and Lighting Company’s power supply objectives.” Said Michael Goldblatt, Principal, Metier Sustainable Capital International Fund II.

Tembo Power’s main objective is to develop, finance and operate power generation projects in sub-Saharan Africa. Currently, it is raising USD 100m for its first set of projects which total upto 187 MW across Kenya, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Raphael Khalifa, the founder of Tembo Power, said: “Tembo Power is delighted to partner with Metier, a reputable and experienced infrastructure fund manager in Sub-Saharan Africa, supported by the main development finance institutions active in the renewable energy field. Such agreement demonstrates the thoroughness of Tembo Power’s development approach, its compliance with the most stringent international standards, and paves the way for extended collaboration with Metier and other key players in the industry.”