ENERGY BUSINESS REVIEW - Renewable energy developer Mainstream Renewable Power has signed $117.5m equity investment from several investors to support the development of more than 1.3GW of wind and solar power plants in Africa.

The investors include including IFC, the IFC African, Latin American and Caribbean Fund (ALAC) and the IFC Catalyst Fund, two funds managed by IFC Asset Management Company, Ascension Investment Management and Sanlam.

Subject to shareholder approval, the deal will provide equity funding for Mainstream's Lekela Power joint venture with Actis to help develop the renewable projects by 2018.

Lekela is a 60/40 pan-African joint venture between Actis and Mainstream Renewable Power.

Mainstream Renewable Power CEO Eddie O'Connor said: "Developing Africa's power infrastructure, giving millions of people access to power and enabling the continent's economic growth is one of the greatest challenges of our time.

"Renewable energy is the quickest and most cost effective solution to achieve this and Mainstream is dedicated to being the leading vehicle in delivering this on the ground."

The funding will be used by Lekela to develop a pipeline of projects in Africa which include construction of four wind farms in South Africa, two wind farms and a solar plant in Egypt, as well as wind farms in Senegal and Ghana.

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