AMEA Power LLC – The Power of Partnership

AMEA Power is showing what can be done with a perfectly executed public-private partnership.

AMEA Power, a Dubai-headquartered renewable energy company, is currently present in the Middle East and Africa. The company has two operational assets in Jordan, a 50MW solar project and a 50MW wind project, and one in Togo, a 50MW solar project. Furthermore, it is also currently exploring opportunities in emerging Asia. The company’s main focus remains in Africa, covering the whole continent from west to east and north to south.

Today, more than 80% of AMEA Power’s portfolio is based in Africa. The company is active in 15 countries with projects at different stages of development in each of them, including three operational assets with a cumulative capacity of 150MW. Furthermore, the company has a pipeline of 1,850MW solar and wind projects in advanced stage development, awaiting financial close. As well as 1,000MW solar and wind projects in early stage development.

In the last couple of months alone, AMEA Power has commissioned 3 projects, in Jordan and Togo, and has started construction on a 26MW solar project in Burkina Faso. The company has managed to achieve these great milestones, despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

Amongst the project in late-stage development, the company has solar projects in countries such as Morocco, Ivory Coast and Mali, the company has revealed. Furthermore, it is also in late-stage development on a wind project in Kenya, as well as a wind project in Ethiopia. In addition, it is also  developing solar and wind projects in Uganda.

The company’s two biggest projects are in Egypt, a 500 MW solar plant and a 500 MW wind project. Once completed, the wind project in Egypt will be the largest in Africa on one site.

In Africa, AMEA Power are in advanced stage development in north, west and east, it is also now looking at new opportunities in southern Africa, the company has expressed.  AMEA Power has a team of more than 60 people, based in the headquarters in Dubai and across regional hubs, and more than 30 nationalities represented in the offices. The team has a range of different backgrounds including origination, technical, project finance, legal and development, so it is really a multidisciplinary team, working with external advisors where relevant.

“AMEA Power has worked hard to establish very strong relationships with the local communities in the countries in which we are present. We form partnerships with all stakeholders, including the local communities. Furthermore, we have adopted environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) principles, which remains at the heart of our business, “ Hussain Al Nowais – Chairman.

The company work closely with local communities and are engaged in CSR in all the countries where it is present, including in Togo.

In Togo, it has invested in healthcare, education, clean energy and skills development for the local community. It has built a clinic for curative and preventive services to the members of the local community. Furthermore it has constructed and equipped 3 primary schools and renovated 4 additional schools. It has also installed water pumps and electrified the 7 schools with solar power. Furthermore it has provided an internship program for university students across Togo, at the project site during construction. As a response to the lockdown due to COVID-19, AMEA Power has also provided essential food and hygiene products to the local communities in the countries in which the company is present.

As the company has expressed, “This is a priceless feeling when you develop a solar project such as our project in Togo that is providing power to approximately 160,000 households, as well as being able to support the local communities with key initiatives.”

“At AMEA Power, we are working in line with UN Sustainable Development Goals across all our project portfolio in order to promote deforestation-free supply chains and reforestation projects as well as to prevent escalation on biodiversity and climate crisis,” Vito Saluto – Head ESG.

An Industry Benchmark

Emblematic of AMEA Power’s approach is the Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Photovoltaic Power Plant.

This project has become a reference point for the market.

No similar large scale utility project in Africa has been delivered in 18 months. Indeed, for a project like this the expected delivery time is often more like five or ten years.

Developers often drop projects in these countries not because access to financing is challenging however, mainly because development takes too much time. AMEA Power has developed its Togo project in exactly 18 months from the time it signed the power purchase agreement. The company met the government of Togo in February 2019 where they discussed the possibility of investing in a solar project in the country. A year later, in February 2020, AMEA Power launched the construction of the first renewable energy project developed by an independent power producer in the country.

The construction of the solar photovoltaic plant took place during the period of 2020 – 2021, despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

It has been a very challenging year, factories were shutting down and boarders were being closed, but the project was still developed in rectord time,  thanks to AMEA Power’s ability to deliver quickly to international standards but also because of the company’s collaboration with a client, the Government of Togo, who was up to expectations.

The Mohamed Bin Zayed PV Plant represents how much can be achieved when a public-private partnership is done right.

This project is unique because it is the perfect example of a public-private-partnership collaboration, with a clear legal framework. As part of the country’s $8 billion national development plan, it aims to reach universal access to electricity by 2030. It is very ambitious, but the country has a clear legal framework to work within. Most importantly the country has put a skilled and committed implementation unit in place.

There are many different stakeholders involved including, The Ministry of Energy, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Environment, and the Ministry of Land which all had input into the project.

AMEA Power had to follow up with various public stakeholder to ensure things were moving quickly. On the private side, AMEA Power delivered a unique willingness to present a large-scale utility project on its balance sheets. The company really need to trust the country’s government and its own ability to raise the financing very quickly. AMEA Power took that bet, it was a successful bet and that allowed the company to deliver the project in a record-breaking time period.

AMEA Power worked hand-in-hand with the Government of Togo, they were willing and able to move fast, the company has expressed. This was key in order to achieve a succesful  public-private partnership.

The Sky’s the Limit

AMEA Power, for all that it has achieved, is still a young company at only five years old, with its projects so far taking over only the last couple of years.

For AMEA Power, the sky is the limit . The company has a clear target on what it would like to achieve across Africa, Middle East and Asia. AMEA Power has several projects that will start construction over the next year. It has a young, experienced team dedicated to delivering the renewable energy projects across the company’s target markets.

AMEA Power has even been approached by other governments, looking to learn how they did it in Togo.

“What we achieved in Togo, can also be implemented in other countries as well,” the company has stated “But you cannot expect to reach that goal without having a clear regulatory framework in the country. It is important that the private and public secotor truly work together as partners.”

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