Linklaters advises the Democratic Republic of Congo on the structuring of a solar mini-grid development program

Linklaters has advised the Ministry of Hydraulic Resources and Electricity of the Democratic Republic of Congo in connection with the structuring of the "Essor Access to Electricity (A2E) Initiative" program for the development of solar mini-grids in the country.

Following a bidding process in keeping with international standards, three concession contracts were signed on June 3, 2021 in Kinshasa between the DRC government and an international consortium composed of Gridworks, AEE Power and Earanove. These three concession contracts cover the development, construction, and operation of three hybrid solar power plants and the distribution networks needed to supply the cities of Bumba, Isiro and Gemena. These three pilot sites, representing a total of approximately 460,000 inhabitants, were selected from among 27 towns based on key criteria such as safety, level of sunlight, economic potential and dynamism, in addition to the absence of satisfactory alternative electrification solutions in the short and medium term. Access to electricity is currently very limited in these cities. The three projects will serve as models to be replicated in several other cities in the country and will contribute significantly to improving access to electricity for hundreds of thousands of inhabitants.

The overall project will require approximately $100 million in initial funding, which will be provided by equity, external financing and grants. As such, the concession agreements were designed to allow for the raising of limited recourse financing to attract top tier international investors.

The Linklaters team was led by Partner François April, with Counsel Justin C. Faye, Senior Associate Pierre Sikorav and Associate Sandra Hoballah Campus in the Energy & Infrastructure Practice.

Philae Advisory was the financial and transactional advisor to the Ministry of Hydraulic Resources and Electricity of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Innovation Energie Développement (IED) acted as technical advisor.