Marco Borero, Kenya

REPP equity investment accelerates financial close for 1.65MW (DC) grid-connected solar PV plant in central Kenya

A USD 355,000 equity investment from REPP has breathed new life into a grid-connected solar PV plant in central Kenya that required additional equity to fund construction.

Although developer Marco Borero* had earlier secured a USD 1.8m senior debt offer from the French Development Agency’s (AFD) SUNREF programme via the Co-operative Bank of Kenya to help fund construction of the 1.65MW (DC) plant, it had been unable to raise the final tranche of equity required to complete the financing package. This was due to the comparatively small size of both the project and the remaining funding amount required. REPP’s equity participation brought much-needed comfort to lenders in order to complete the financing required to bring the project to fruition.

With REPP’s funding, Marco Borero reached financial close on the project in September 2020, unlocking the senior debt facility to accelerate construction at the site in Nyeri County.

Astonfield Solar, a sub-Saharan solar EPC contractor that has commissioned over 50 projects in East Africa, has been building the plant since June 2020, with approximately 50 construction jobs having been created through the project to date.

It had been hoped to reach commercial operation in Q1 2021, however the target date had to be pushed back due to COVID-19-related delays. The project is in the final stage of construction, and once completed will be among the first privately owned solar plants to reach operation in Kenya.

The project is also helping to build local capacity with the first-time developer, which has aspirations of developing a pipeline of renewable energy projects in the region.

* Marco Borero is an SPV set up by Kenyan nationals Faith Nzilani Maingi and Henry Maina Kanyua.

Funding structure

Contracted date: 9 April 2020

Lending type: Equity

REPP funding: USD 355,000

REPP came in at the right time, and I'm sure without them Marco Borero would have challenges meeting the project's COD deadline. When REPP came on board they not only injected fresh equity, but also a fresh management style due to their experience. Now we are able to achieve financial close together.
- Henry Maina Kanyua, Chairman, Marco Borero Company Limited