The Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD), the leading national entity for international development aid, today signed a US$10 million (AED36.7 million) concessionary loan agreement with the Government of Mauritius to fund a solar photovoltaic (PV) kits project.
As announced at the eighth session of the IRENA Assembly in January 2018, the project that aims to provide 10,000 solar PV kits to low-income communities is being financed through the IRENA/ADFD Project Facility as one of the beneficiaries of its fifth funding cycle.
Established in 2013, the seven-cycle facility offers US$350 million in concessional loans from ADFD to help developing countries access low-cost capital for renewable energy projects.
Mohammed Saif Al Suwaidi, Director General of ADFD, and Mootoosamy Naidoo, Chairman of the Central Electricity Board of Mauritius, signed the loan agreement at the ninth session of the IRENA Assembly that is currently underway in Abu Dhabi. Senior representatives of the two parties attended the signing ceremony.
Speaking on the occasion, Al Suwaidi said: “ADFD’s funding mechanisms are designed to foster sustainable development in key sectors that stimulate economic growth and elevate living standards in developing countries. To deliver on that promise, the Fund views the advancement of renewable energy as a top priority.”
He added: “We are proud to work together with the Mauritian government to bring this crucial solar PV project online. The venture will go a long way in supporting the local economy and achieving national priorities, in addition to generating jobs and improving livelihoods.”
In October 2018, a technical delegation from ADFD visited Mauritius to review the feasibility of the project, its technical integrity, and its compatibility with the country’s strategic and development priorities.
The visiting delegation also consulted the relevant authorities and assessed the sustainability of the project and its various implementation stages.
The funds will enable the Mauritius Central Electricity Board to install solar PV systems on the rooftops of 10,000 households as part of the government’s efforts to alleviate poverty. The project will contribute to achieving the national target of integrating 35 per cent of renewable electricity into the country’s energy mix by 2025.
Commending ADFD for its role in supporting the national priorities outlined by the Government of Mauritius, Naidoo said: “In collaboration with ADFD as a strategic partner, we will improve access to electricity for our population and meet important government objectives.”
During the lifespan of the project, an estimated 10,000 families in low-income communities will benefit from approximately US$8.3 million in electricity bill savings.
The project will bring 10 megawatts of renewable energy capacity online, mitigating 143,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions annually and enhancing the country’s energy security.
To date, the Fund allocated a total of US$245 million to 24 projects over six cycles of the IRENA/ADFD Project Facility.
Since its inception in 1971, ADFD has financed development projects in 88 countries across the globe, including 40 African nations, to the tune of AED83 billion through concessionary loans and Abu Dhabi government grants. The Fund’s total expenditure in Africa is valued at an estimated AED20 billion.