AIIM Hydroneo, the 50/50 joint venture between private equity infrastructure investor African Infrastructure Investment Managers (AIIM) and MECAMIDI, a manufacturer and developer of small and medium hydro plant power equipment, have announced plans to develop, build and operate a number of hydroelectric power plants in Gabon.
In late January, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between AIIM Hydroneo and the Gabonese government, granting the new platform exclusivity for a number of project sites, including Kinguélé Aval, for which the necessary development studies have now started.
The Gabonese project forms part of AIIM Hydroneo’s overall plan to develop a pipeline of small and medium hydro power plants in Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Gabon, Guinea and Mozambique. The total investment required is estimated to be about $500 million, provided as a mix of debt and equity, with the equity being provided by AIIM through one of its co-investment structures together with MECAMIDI. Once complete, the projects will provide newly installed capacity of 200MW over the next five years.
In an emailed response, AIIM’s representative indicated that there were no plans to sell the assets on completion given the investor’s long-term investment horizon. Romain Py, the Head of Transactions at AIIM who led the transaction and Christian Nana, a Senior Adviser to AIIM, both sit on the board of AIIM Hydroneo. In addition, a number of AIIM’s investment professionals will also support the joint venture.