Ugandan power station receives $29.3m through refinancing deal
The Bugoye hydro-electric power station in Uganda will be refinanced thanks to a $29.3m loan provided equally by Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (EAIF) and Dutch development bank FMO on a 12-year term. The 13MW Bugoye hydro-electric power plant in Western Uganda, which has 98% availability, has been producing electricity since 2008 and feeds power into Uganda’s national grid.
EAIF has supported eight, and FMO 10, Ugandan renewable energy projects in hydro and solar power over the past 10 years. Together these facilities will account for up to 39% of Uganda’s installed generating capacity. The refinancing will also facilitate building new generating capacity.
The proceeds from the refinancing will also be used to repay EAIF the balance of its original loan to the project, fund repair works and repay construction loans made by the project sponsor (and indirectly, the 100% shareholder in Bugoye), the Africa Renewable Energy Fund (AREF), managed by Berkeley Energy. AREF is to use the refinancing proceeds to invest in other greenfield hydro-electric plants in Uganda.
Details of the new project are expected to be announced later in 2017. EAIF and FMO each contributed 50% of the US$29.3 million loan facility.
Nazmeera Moola, head of EAIF at IAM, said: “In refinancing Bugoye, EAIF and FMO are freeing up capital that AREF will use to develop greenfield renewable power stations. That will add to Uganda’s economic potential by increasing the country’s generation capacity and creating new jobs in construction and plant operation. We have been able to have added developmental impact because Bugoye is an established, efficient and viable business with a suitable risk profile.”
Wilfred van den Bos, Senior Investment Officer Energy FMO adds: “FMO is a proud supporter of this project. This refinancing will free up capital that the owner will invest in other greenfield renewable energy projects. This is fully in line with our aim to positively affect peoples’ lives by supporting development, creating jobs and providing clean and sustainable energy to Uganda.”
5 minutes with... Janthana Kaenprakhamroy, CEO, Tapoly
Founder and CEO of award-winning insurtech firm Tapoly, Janthana Kaenprakhamroy heads up Europe’s first on-demand insurance platform for the gig economy, winning industry awards, innovating in the digital insurance space, and leading with inclusivity.
Here, Business Chief talks to Janthana about her leadership style and skills.
What do you do, in a nutshell?
I’m founder and CEO of Tapoly, a digital MGA providing a full stack of commercial lines insurance specifically for SMEs and freelancers, as well as a SaaS solution to connect insurers with their distribution partners. We build bespoke, end-to-end platforms encompassing the whole customer journey, but can also integrate our APIs within existing systems. We were proud to win Insurance Provider of the Year at the British Small Business Awards 2018 and receive silver in the Insurtech category at the Efma & Accenture Innovation in Insurance Awards 2019.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I try to be as inclusive a leader as possible. I’m committed to creating space for everyone to shine. Many of the roles at Tapoly are performed by women and I speak at industry events to encourage more people to get involved in insurance/insurtech. Similarly, I always try to maintain a growth mindset. I think it’s important to retain values to support learning and development, like reliability, working hard and punctuality.
What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?
Build your network and seek advice. As a leader, you need smart people around you to help you grow your business. It’s not about personally being the best, but being able to find resources and get help where needed.
How do you see leadership changing in a COVID world?
I think the pandemic has proven the importance of inclusive leadership so that everyone feels supported and valued. It’s also shown the importance of being flexible as a leader. We’ve had to remain adaptable to continue delivering high levels of customer service. This flexibility has also been important when supporting employees as everyone has had individual pressures to deal with during this time. Leaders should continue to embed this flexibility within their organisations moving forward.
They say ‘from every crisis comes opportunity’, what opportunities do you see?
The past year has been challenging, but it has also proven the importance of digital transformation in insurance. When working from home was required, it was much harder for insurers to adjust who had not embedded technology within their operating processes because they did not have data stored in the cloud and it caused communication delays with concerned customers at a time when this communication should have been a priority, which ultimately impacts the level of customer satisfaction. This demonstrates the importance of what we are trying to achieve at Tapoly in driving digitalisation in insurance and making communication between insurers and distribution partners seamless.
What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?
Start sooner, don’t be afraid to take (calculated) risks and make sure you raise enough money to get you through the initial seed stage.