Nigerian cleantech startup Havenhill raises $4.6m for expansion.

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Havenhill Synergy Limited, a Nigerian cleantech startup, has raised $4.6 million from Chapel Hill Denham Nigeria Infrastructure Debt Fund (NDIF) to help build 22 smart solar mini-grids in Nigeria.

Havenhill, founded in 2010 by CEO Olusegun Odunaiya, focuses on using mini-grids to improve access to electricity in rural areas. Renewable energy services are also available for businesses in Nigeria’s industrial and commercial hubs.

According to recent data from the National Bureau of Statistics, Nigerians have limited access to reliable electricity, with the rural electrification rate hovering around 39%.The International Monetary Fund (IMF) estimated in 2019 that Nigeria loses US$29 billion per year due to a lack of reliable electricity.The owners/operators of the main electricity grid’s inability to connect rural communities and provide them with reliable power has increased the demand for decentralized energy systems and other clean alternatives.

Havenhill is addressing these challenges by deploying smart solar mini-grids to commercially viable rural communities across the country.

Speaking on the completion of the groundbreaking deal, the CEO of NIDF, Anshul Rai, noted that it was quite fulfilling to note that NIDF is playing a significant role in improving energy access in Nigeria.

“NIDF prides itself in being the leader in financing of clean energy and energy access projects in Nigeria and thus contribute to the achievement of UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. In multiple projects such as Havenhill, our unitholders can see their capital in action and generating not only financial returns but also making a strong, positive impact on the daily lives of their fellow citizens”, Rai said

He disclosed that financing of the project will be funded from the fund’s recently concluded Series-7 capital raise, which also involved the participation of African Development Bank (AfDB).

“With the support of AfDB, NIDF is also implementing a comprehensive Environmental & Social Management System for the fund and also supporting its borrowers adopt the international best practices in the area of environmental and social sustainability” he added.

On his part, Director – Energy Financial Solutions, Policy & Regulation, African Development Bank, Wale Shonibare, described the investment in the project as a welcome development that would assist in complementing its role to the sovereign loan offered to the Federal Government of Nigeria which is targeted at supporting the implementation of the Nigeria Electrification Project.

While expressing his satisfaction with the outcome, the CEO of Havenhill, Olusegun Odunaiya stated that it was quite exciting to have NIDF as a long-term partner for the mini-grids roll-out project.

According to Odunaiya, the NIDF team’s commercial savviness has enabled it to implement a highly innovative financing structure that fully addresses the peculiarities of the project and, therefore, ensure its long-term success.

“This milestone serves as a renewal of Havenhill’s commitment to powering Nigeria’s most remote communities and delivering last-mile electricity connections. These mini-grids will catalyse economic activities in host communities, serve healthcare facilities, and overall deliver a transformative multiplier effect. I appreciate the efforts and grit of our team in solving one of the most important problems in the world today”, he added.

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