The Fund for Export Development in Africa (FEDA), a development impact-oriented subsidiary of the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), said it has invested in Ecow-Gas B.V., a Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) distribution infrastructure platform in the West Africa region.
The move is meant to boost energy supply in the region, as due to limited power supply from the grid, the industrial sector in Africa suffers severe power shortages with attendant high production costs, inefficient operations and reduced global competitiveness, amongst others.
Afreximbank said in a statement that off-grid solutions are required to address these challenges and put Africa firmly on the path to energy sustainability.
FEDA’s investment in Ecow-Gas will support the creation, in partnership with a leading international oil company, of the infrastructure to provide access to cheaper and cleaner fuels for underserved industrial customers across the region using LNG.
This will also promote efforts to minimize CO2 emission by replacing environment-polluting fuels currently in use.
Commenting, the President/Chairman, Board of Directors, Afreximbank, Professor Benedict Oramah, said: “FEDA’s investment in Ecow-Gas is a testament to its mission of providing development equity capital to sectors critical to the growth and development of intra-African trade, export development and industrialisation.
“Through this investment, FEDA is seeking to unlock access to affordable and cleaner energy for industrialization purposes and to significantly impact intra-regional trade, especially in the West Africa region.”
Similarly, Acting Chief Executive Officer, FEDA, Emmanuel Assiak, added:” We are delighted to partner with experienced operators and investors on this mission-critical opportunity to unlock the provision of cheaper and cleaner fuel in West Africa.
“The combined complementary skills and capabilities within the Ecow-Gas platform stakeholders will help enable the Company to execute its growth plans. We believe that EcowGas will help to significantly remove the energy supply and cost bottlenecks that negatively impact the competitiveness of the region as a manufacturing destination.”
Off-grid solutions are required to address these challenges and put Africa firmly on the path to energy sustainability.
Transiting to renewables
Also, the CEO of H Investments and Ecow-Gas, Kwaku Boakye-Adjei, said: “We are excited to commence this project as we see LNG as not only a fuel for large scale Independent Power Producers in the region but for mid to small scale industries as well to transition from Heavy Fuel Oil, Diesel and other distillates and ultimately, to renewables.
“LNG powered micro-generation can help to alleviate issues such as intermittency which act as a barrier to wide scale adoption of renewables in West Africa.”
FEDA pursues a multi-sector investment strategy along the intra-African trade, value-added export development and manufacturing value chains in Afreximbank’s member states.