Virunga Power

January 2023
Virunga Power, an electric utility serving African areas, has raised $50 million with Gridworks, the UK government-backed investor in Africa’s electricity networks.

Virunga Power focuses on providing reliable and low-cost power to rural communities and businesses that are underserved by national utilities. They employ run-of-river hydropower technology for projects up to 20 MW and build associated transmission and distribution networks. The company aims to drive sustainable economic growth and electrification in rural areas while reinforcing national grid stability.

The capital raising will fund new projects across the continent, including in Burundi, Malawi, Zambia and Kenya. It will also support the substantial growth of the Zengamina hydro-backed rural utility in northern Zambia (pictured above), resulting in increased generation capacity and the addition of thousands of new connections.

Gridworks’ investment aligns with their mandate of connecting Africa to reliable, affordable, and clean power. It supports their focus on rural electrification, an area of increasing attention as countries strive to achieve connection targets under the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. Zambia, Malawi, and Burundi have particularly low rural electrification rates, making the investment in Virunga Power crucial for improving access to electricity in these regions.

This transaction is representative of the innovative business models emerging in the African renewable energy landscape, which require a combination of corporate and project finance expertise and IPP and distributed energy expertise.

AltRaise acted as exclusive financial advisor to Virunga Power up to Gridworks’ offer.

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