A reliable electricity supply to encourage investment in Côte d’Ivoire

Project snapshot - Azito Power Project

Country: Côte d’Ivoire

Sector: Power and Energy

AfDB and related financing: The total project total cost is USD 430 million, financed through an 80% debt and 20% equity. The Bank extended a senior loan of USD 40 million and the project was financed alongside several development finance institutions (International Finance Corporation, BIO, Asian Development Bank, The Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund), The West African Development Bank [BOAD], DEG, FMO and Proparco).


  • Conversion of the existing simple-cycle power plant of two 144 MW gas-fired turbines to a combined-cycle power plant, thereby increasing the capacity of the facility to approximately 430 MW.
  • The conversion of the Plant to combined-cycle plant will save 728,000 tons of CO2 per year.
  • Up to approximately 600 workers should be hired at the “peak workforce” phase of the construction period.
  • The project will add approximately 140 MW capacity, without requiring any additional gas supply

Situation:  The Azito Power Expansion Project involves the expansion of an existing 288 megawatt (MW) gas-fired power plant located in Côte d’Ivoire, into a combined cycle plant, with the addition of a 140 MW heat-recovery steam turbine. The project is the third phase in the construction of the Azito power generation facility, with two earlier phases completed in 1999 and 2000.

The Ivorian privately-run power utility, Compagnie Ivoirienne de l'électricité (CIE), is the sole off-taker and will on behalf of the government pay all available capacity and energy produced by the plant. The Project will use existing infrastructure to evacuate the additional power from the power plant.

The project is being executed by an independent power producer, Azito Energie, under a government guaranteed 20-year take-or-pay Power Purchase Agreement (PPA). Azito Energie is an Ivorian limited liability firm originally majority-owned by Globeleq Generation Holdings Limited (owned by Actis Infrastructure Fund II) which is a global firm with extensive track record as an independent power producer in Africa. In February 2015, CDC Group and Norfund entered into a partnership which resulted in direct ownership of Globeleq Africa through Africa Power Limited.

Azito is a repeat client of the Bank and has benefited from senior debt amounting to USD 14 million toward the financing of Azito Phase 1 in 1998. That loan has been fully repaid together with all other debt obligations under Phases 1 and 2 of the facility. 


The aim of this project is to meet increasing electricity demand, especially through the development of the country’s industrial base. It also sought to improve the reliability of electricity supply in order to consolidate privatization and encourage investors to finance other projects.


Project’s current status:

The project implemented through an Engineer, Procure and Construct (EPC) contract with Hyundai of South Korea started construction in October 2013 and was expected to last 27 months. The plant has been constructed on time and within schedule with Commercial Operation Date declared on June 2, 2015. Construction has remained within budget with a significant amount of contingencies unused.

Project’s specificity:  

The project aligns with the African Development Bank’s strategy for increasing Private Sector Operations support in low income countries and in particular fragile states. 

The project also has strong development outcomes, including: (1) meeting Côte d’Ivoire’s growing electricity needs, (2) providing a boost to a struggling economy after the crisis, (3) the availability of a reliable and affordable electricity supply contributing to improved delivery of social services, (4) the creation of direct and indirect employment, (5) more efficient energy production in term of CO2 emission due to the efficient combined cycle technology, and enhancement of the efficiency of existing assets, (6) potential for increased electricity exports in the West Africa Power Pool through interconnections, and (7) improved quality of life in Côte d’Ivoire.