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Energy Financing: Manufacturers Urged To Explore SUNREF Funding Facilities

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Manufacturers in Nigeria have been urged to explore and take advantage of funding facilities provided by the Sustainable Use of Natural Resources and Energy Finance (SUNREF) aimed at boosting economic activities.

SUNREF funding facilities include a €60 million ($70 million) lowcost debt financing, a €9.5 million ($11 million) grant facility and technical assistance provided to partner banks and project developers.

SUNREF is a green financing line for businesses developed by the French Development Agency (AFD).

This formed the high point of deliberations at a just concluded investors’ conference hosted by SUNREF and the the Manufacturing Association of Nigeria (MAN) aimed at attracting investment into Nigeria’s renewable energy and energy efficiency sector.

It was in partnership with development partners, the Nigerian Energy Support Program (NESP) implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and off-grid renewable energy investor All-On, brought together investors, SUNREF Nigeria partner banks (Access Bank and UBA), technical assistance providers, renewable energy and energy efficiency project developers, government agencies and other
stakeholders.

At the conference, manufacturers were encouraged to take advantage of the SUNREF funding facility, which is composed of a €60 million ($70 million) low￾cost debt financing, a €9.5 million ($11 million) grant facility and technical assistance provided to partner banks and project developers.

“The SUNREF facility has come at the right time when manufacturers need more power to drive our operations. We are excited about it as potential beneficiaries and we hope that both our members and non-members will take full advantage of this opportunity,” said Dr Mansur Ahmed, the MAN President.

In his remarks, the Chief Executive Officer of All-On, Dr. Wiebe Boer highlighted the huge market potentials in the renewable energy and energy sectors in Nigeria.

“The size of the energy gap in Nigeria is between 30GW and 175GW, and would cost between $40 billion to $200 billion to address. Nigerians spend $15 to $20 billion annually on power, which is ten times the grid,” said Dr Boer.

“This is also a market opportunity for providers of constant, reliable electricity, such as mini-grids which are a potentially $10 billion market.”

There were also presentations from the partner banks and the Nigerian
Energy Support Programme (NESP).

The conference was followed by a matchmaking session hosted by the
Renewable Energy Association of Nigeria (REAN) which brought manufacturers and other businesses together in order to be connected to qualified developers that can offer them energy and cost saving solutions, and help them put together an application that will meet the SUNREF eligibility criteria.

This will provide a starting point for those businesses that are interested in RE/EE solutions and want to take advantage of the concessionary lending and technical assistance that the SUNREF Nigeria programme has to offer but they are not sure where to begin

SUNREF Nigeria is a USD $70 million credit facility funded by the AFD and the European Union Infrastructure Trust Fund (EU-ITF) which was launched in July 2020 for the development of green projects in Nigeria.

It will also provide grants for 10% of the loan amount and technical assistance to support RE/EE projects.

SUNREF Nigeria is hosted by the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) and works in partnership with Access Bank and the United Bank for Africa, to support the development of energy efficiency (EE) and renewable energy (RE) projects

• The SUNREF Nigeria programme, seeks to improve access to energy through improved access to affordable finance for renewable energy technologies and energy efficiency initiatives that will improve lives, increase economic opportunities, and support various sectors such as industry and agriculture.

• The SUNREF initiative has been deployed in over 30 countries and successfully supported over 42 projects in partnership with about 70 banks to the tune of about €2.5 billion from AFD, of which €1.2 billion has been paid.

The goals of the SUNREF program include:
• Target entrepreneurs AFD cannot directly finance such as SMEs and individuals.
• Engage financial intermediaries as channels for disseminating these types of projects through reliable local counterparts with technical skills.
• Disseminate technical know-how and good practices through the technical assistance.
• Improve energy security
• Develop a functioning sustainable green market
• Reduce the dependency on natural resources and energy supplies
• Increase the competitiveness of the private sector
• Strengthen the capacity of sustainable energy, agriculture and tourism stakeholders (business associations, manufacturers, sustainable energy agencies, ministries, partner banks, etc.)

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