UPC Renewables, CFM to invest US$40m in Tunisia’s first privately owned wind farm

TUNISIA – Construction works are set to begin soon at Sidi Mansour wind farm project located in the northern region of Tunisia.

This follows the signing of a financing agreement between the contracting company, UPC Renewables (UPC) and the Climate Fund Managers (CFM).

According to Africa Energy Portal, the Sidi Mansour wind farm project, will be constructed at a cost of US$40 million.

Upon completion, the Sidi Mansour project is expected to generate approximately 30 MW of electricity and will become the first privately-owned wind farm in the North African country.

Power from then Tunisia’s first privately owned project will be sold to the Tunisian Electricity and Gas Company (Steg), under the terms of a power purchase agreement (PPA) signed last year

The contacting company, UPC, revealed that Climate Fund Managers is participating in the project as co-developer, sponsor, financial advisor and E&S (environmental and social) advisor, through its development and construction finance facility, Climate Investor One (CI1).

UPC Group further explained that its local team will handle land securitisation, permitting, grid connection, wind resource assessment and engineering and procurement contracts to ensure the successful implementation of the project.

Brian Caffyn, president of the UPC Group revealed that construction the Sidi Mansour wind farm will begin in 2020.

The project, according to Caffy, will “help boost the Tunisian economy, create local jobs and put in place a social plan for local communities while respecting international environmental protection guidelines”.

 In addition to electricity, CFM notes that the project is expected to provide about 100 jobs and help prevent the emission of 56,645 tonnes of CO2 throughout its life span.

As of 2019, the concentrated renewable energy capacity for electricity generation in Tunisia reached 379 megawatts (MW) in 2019, a tremendous improvement when compared to a meagre capacity of 115 MW in 2010.

UPC Renewables Group notes that entry of the Sidi Mansour wind farm is thus expected to assist the government of Tunisia accomplish its goal of increasing increase the share of renewable energies in the mix of electricity production from 3% as of 2016 to 30% by 2030.

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