Mainstream Renewable Power Signs Landmark Africa Clean Energy Equity Funding

  • $117.5m deal to fund continued expansion of Lekela Power platform, providing renewable power supply across Africa
  • Investors include IFC, the IFC African, Latin American and Caribbean Fund (ALAC) and the IFC Catalyst Fund, two funds managed by IFC Asset Management Company, Ascension Investment Management and Sanlam
  • Mainstream playing leading role in delivering Obama Administration’s Power Africa initiative
  • Lekela has plans to construct  over 1,300MW of wind and solar plants in Africa by 2018
Eddie O’Connor - Mainstream CEO
Eddie O’Connor – Mainstream CEO

Global renewable energy developer Mainstream Renewable Power  has signed $117.5m  equity investment from investors including IFC , the IFC African, Latin American and Caribbean Fund (ALAC) and the IFC Catalyst Fund, two funds managed by IFC Asset Management Company, Ascension Investment Management and Sanlam to accelerate the build-out of megawatts of wind and solar plants across Africa.

The deal, which is subject to shareholder approval, provides equity funding for the Lekela Power platform, a joint venture with the global pan-emerging market private equity firm Actis. The funding package will help Lekela meet its goal of constructing over 1,300MW of badly needed new power capacity in Africa by 2018, while addressing the challenge of climate change.

Speaking at the signing of the transaction at The African Energy Forum in London, Mainstream Renewable Power CEO Eddie O’Connor said, “Developing Africa’s power infrastructure, giving millions of people access to power and enabling the continent’s economic growth is one of the greatest challenges of our time. Renewable energy is the quickest and most cost effective solution to achieve this and Mainstream is dedicated to being the leading vehicle in delivering this on the ground.”

“Renewable energy has enormous potential as a clean, reliable, and affordable power source for Africa and we are delighted to help connect Mainstream with solar and wind investment opportunities across the continent through this partnership,” said Bertrand de la Borde, Head of Africa infrastructure at IFC, a member of the World Bank Group.

“The IFC ALAC Fund looks forward to working with Mainstream Renewable Power to support the growth of Africa’s power infrastructure on the continent, an important pre-requisite of economic and social development,” said Eileen Fargis, Co-Head, IFC African, Latin American and Caribbean Fund (ALAC).

“The IFC Catalyst Fund is very pleased to support this transaction. We look forward to supporting the growth of the Lekela Power platform and its expansion goals in the region,” said Reyaz Ahmad, Head, IFC Catalyst Fund.

The deal will allow Lekela to continue to build its pipeline of wind and solar projects in Africa.  The platform plans to build four more wind farms in South Africa, two wind farms and a solar plant in Egypt, as well as wind farms in Senegal and Ghana. Also, in addition to the jobs created through the construction spend, Lekela invests resources in social endeavours that enhance the quality of life of the communities close to its projects.

South Africa: Mainstream’s Noupoort wind farm - under construction
South Africa: Mainstream’s Noupoort wind farm – under construction

Mainstream and Lekela are helping to fulfil the objectives of a series of key international initiatives, including the Obama Administration’s Power Africa, which aims to add 30,000MW of cleaner power generation through government and private partnerships, and the UN’s Sustainable Energy for All, which seeks to achieve universal access to power by 2030. Energy poverty has been recognised as one of the key challenges for Africa, with an estimated two thirds of people in Sub-Saharan Africa having no regular access to electricity.

First Avenue Partners acted as global placement agent for the transaction.

Simmons & Simmons acted as legal counsel to Mainstream and Norton Rose Fulbright for the investor group.

Mainstream Renewable Power  is the world’s leading independent developer of renewable power, with almost 10,000MW in development and nearly 700MW delivered into construction and commercial operation.  Mainstream was founded in 2008 by Dr Eddie O’Connor following the sale of Airtricity, a global development and supply business founded by Dr O’Connor for €2bn to E.ON and SSE. The company employs over 140 people and has offices across five continents.

Lekela Power is a pan-African renewable energy platform which aims to provide over 1,300MW of wind and solar power by 2018. It is a 60:40 joint venture between Actis, the global pan-emerging market private equity firm, and Mainstream Renewable Power, the global wind and solar company. The company is currently developing projects in South Africa, Egypt, Ghana, Senegal and other African countries.

About IFC:
IFC (, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. Working with more than 2,000 businesses worldwide, it uses its capital, expertise, and influence, to create opportunity where it’s needed most. In FY15, its long-term investments in developing countries rose to nearly $18 billion, helping the private sector play an essential role in the global effort to end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visit

IFC Asset Management Company LLC (AMC), a wholly-owned subsidiary of IFC, invests third party capital, enabling investors to benefit from IFC’s expertise in achieving strong equity returns, as well as positive development impact in the countries in which it invests. AMC has raised $8.7 billion of capital across 11 investment funds. The IFC African, Latin American and Caribbean Fund (ALAC), and IFC Catalyst Fund, two private equity funds managed by IFC Asset Management Company (AMC) are participating in the Mainstream investment.

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