Dubai firm hopes to channel African energy investment

windfarm 410A Dubai-based power developer, Access, has launched an investment vehicle for renewable energy projects in Africa that hopes to acquire a portfolio of power assets worth $500 million.

Access Infra Africa, which Access is launching alongside EREN, a European renewable energy firm, will invest in early stage projects, such as a solar power plant in Uganda. It also hopes to win contracts to build wind and solar projects in Egypt.

“Africa’s energy sector and wider economy could be transformed by the billions of dollars of financing available for Africa,” says Reda El Chaar, chairman of Access. “However, this funding cannot have an impact without well-resourced and experienced developers willing to take early-stage project risk and turn good concepts into bankable projects.”

African infrastructure is tipped as a hot asset class in coming years and Middle East-based investment firms are hoping to promote their expertise as facilitators.

The energy network is a particular focus for infrastructure investors given that the power grid in many African countries is overstretched due to rapid economic and population growth, leading to frequent blackouts and a reliance on inefficient diesel generators.

Given that many African public equity markets are relatively undeveloped, private investment vehicles are seen by many investors as preferable means of gaining exposure to this asset class.

©2015 funds global mena

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