Friday, August 19, 2016

Japan: More Aid for African Geothermal Development to be Announced

Tokyo switching on aid for African geothermal power (Nikkei)

Japan's government will provide financial assistance for geothermal power projects in Africa, with Japanese trading houses and plant builders eyeing new business opportunities in this underdeveloped area of the continent's infrastructure.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will announce the aid initiative next week at the sixth Tokyo International Conference on African Development, to be held in Nairobi.

The Japanese government will provide both financing and know-how for African geothermal projects from the initial stage, hoping to improve the odds of success in exploration. Grants will cover a portion of pre-construction-stage costs, which can run to $100 million. For starters, the government will appropriate more than 1 billion yen ($9.97 million) for grant provision as part of a supplementary budget for the current fiscal year.

In addition, Tokyo will make low-interest loans from the Japan International Cooperation Agency and other financing available for African geothermal projects that have reached the construction stage. The Abe government announced in May that it would provide $200 billion through such channels to support infrastructure exports. Some of this will go to projects in Africa.