Masdar, Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company, has signed an agreement to collaborate with EDF SA, the parent company of the EDF Group, in the power sectors of countries in sub-Saharan Africa.
The memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed by Bader Al Lamki, Masdar’s executive director for Clean Energy, and Valerie Levkov, senior vice president, Africa and Middle East, EDF SA.
Also present were Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, chief executive officer of Masdar, and Dominique Miniere, EDF Group senior executive vice president, Nuclear and Thermal.
The partnership will explore development opportunities within the framework of both companies’ existing off-grid investments in sub-Saharan Africa. It will also evaluate new projects and models for off-grid energy solutions in that region.
Sub-Saharan Africa has limited access to electricity. According to the World Bank, approximately 600 million people live without a reliable energy source. Through today’s agreement, Masdar and EDF SA hope to expand their portfolio in Africa while promoting local socio-economic development.
"Masdar is committed to achieving commercially viable, sustainable access to energy," said Al Lamki. "We look forward to collaborating with EDF SA to unlock opportunities to address the acute need for modern energy services in sub-Saharan Africa, particularly in rural communities."
Masdar’s current sub-Saharan developments include the 15MW Sheikh Zayed Solar Power Plant and eight rural solar energy projects with a capacity of 16.6MW in Mauritania. The company’s extensive off-grid portfolio also includes solar, wind, solar-powered water treatment projects, battery storage and geothermal projects in the Caribbean and the Pacific Islands.
"Our in-depth knowledge of the region is key to offering the most adapted energy solutions," said Levkov. "EDF is convinced that the cooperation with Masdar will enhance the development of essential energy projects for sub-Saharan Africa, combining electrification and low-carbon growth."
The MoU strengthens the cooperation between EDF and Masdar, which was initiated in 2017 when the EDF group joined the Masdar-led consortium developing the 800 megawatt (MW) third phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park in Dubai. The agreement was supplemented by an MoU in November aimed at ensuring cooperation in the development and financing of the solar project.
The EDF group has been present in Africa for over 50 years through a wide range of activities.
EDF has been accelerating its development in clean energy projects, in particular in rural and peri-urban electrification projects. For example, EDF has developed off-grid activities in the Côte d’Ivoire, providing solar kits with pay-as-you-go systems for households, and has developed a 46MW power plant generating electricity from agriculture residue biomass (Biovea – Cote d’Ivoire), the biggest of its kind in Africa.
Masdar is a leading developer and operator of utility-scale power plants, grid-tied projects, small-scale applications that provide energy access to communities away from the electricity grid, and carbon abatement projects. Since 2006, Masdar has invested in renewable energy projects with a combined value of $8.5 billion. The company’s share of this investment equates to $2.7 billion.