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World Bank Group supports Senegal’s energy sector with Tobene Plant inauguration

Dakar, Senegal, March 14, 2016 --The World Bank Group, Senelec, the Senegalese national power utility, and Melec PowerGen today announced the inauguration of the 70 megawatt Tobene independent power plant, which should provide electricity for 1.5 million people in Senegal. The plant was officially opened by the President of Senegal, His Excellency Macky Sall.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and Melec PowerGen developed the project on a build, own, and operate basis. Designed to use the latest technology, the heavy fuel-oil plant can be converted to a gas-fired plant. Melec PowerGen and IFC, who jointly own the plant, will hold 90 and 10 percent stakes in the plant respectively.
Tobene is located in Taiba Ndiaye, 90 kilometers north east of Senegal’s capital, Dakar. Early stage development of the plant was through a joint venture between Melec PowerGen and IFC InfraVentures, which is IFC’s infrastructure project development fund. Senelec has signed a 20-year agreement to purchase the electricity to be generated.
Vera Songwe, IFC Regional Director for West and Central Africa, said, “Tobene, a transformational infrastructure project that will supply power to about 10 percent of Senegal’s population, is the result of a fruitful collaboration between the sponsors, and the project’s private and public sector partners. By the end of the 2016, IFC will have financed projects that provide almost 40 percent of the energy generated in Senegal.”
Louise Cord, World Bank Country Director for Senegal, said, “Energy is fundamental for development. This project, one of the first to be jointly implemented by the International Development Association and IFC, underscores our commitment to help Senegal reach the development targets set out in the ‘Plan Senegal Emergent’.”
The World Bank Group signed agreements to finance Tobene, including a 93.4 million euro agreement arranged by IFC and a $40 million equivalent IDA partial risk guarantee. IFC arranged a 28.5 million euro loan for IFC’s account, a 25 million euro syndicated loan from the UK-based Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (EAIF), a 25 million euro syndicated loan from the Netherlands Development Finance Company (FMO) and a 14.9 million euro equivalent parallel CFA loan from the West African Development Bank (BOAD).  
Melec PowerGen has developed other energy projects in Africa, including the Kounoune Power Station in Senegal and the Thika Power station in Kenya.
“This power station could not have been built without the personal involvement of people including the President of Senegal, Mr. Macky Sall, and the Ministers of Energy, past and present,” said Mr. Sami Soughayar, Chief Executive Officer of the Matelec Group. “We appreciate the support of our partners, such as IFC and the World Bank, and other technical and financial organizations that have been engaged in the project.”
Financing the Tobene power station is part of the World Bank Group’s wider efforts to support the Government of Senegal increase access to energy in rural parts of the country. Renewable energy is also part of this strategy. IFC recently signed an agreement to develop between 50-200 megawatts of solar energy through the Scaling Solar initiative to help African countries procure renewable energy quickly and affordably.
About the World Bank Group
The World Bank Group is one of the world's largest sources of funding and knowledge for developing countries. It comprises five closely associated institutions: the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) and the International Development Association (IDA), which together form the World Bank; the International Finance Corporation (IFC); the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA); and the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). Each institution plays a distinct role in the mission to fight poverty and improve living standards for people in the developing world. For more information, please visit , , and .