IJGlobal Awards 2021 – Africa Deal Winners

It is with great pleasure that we announce the winners of the IJGlobal Awards 2021 celebrating the deals that reached financial close and moved the dial in Africa over last calendar year.

The winners were announced last night at The Londoner in Leicester Square as IJ took a break from its traditional awards venue – the Natural History Museum – which was ruled out for all the obvious reasons.

Last night, the great and the good of the European and African infrastructure community gathered to celebrate achievements from over the course of 2021 and commiserate with the runners-up.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank those who attended the sumptuous evening and congratulations to all who submitted, were shortlisted and – most of all – the winners.


African Deal Winners


IJGlobal Hybrid Finance Deal of the Year 2021

TNOG Hybrid Finance, Niger/Nigeria

TNOG Oil and Gas – a related company of Heirs Oil & Gas and Transnational Corporation of Nigeria (Transcorp) – at the start of 2021 finalised the innovative acquisition financing of a 45% participating interest in Nigerian oil licence OML 17 and related assets from the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria, Total E&P Nigeria and ENI, with TNOG Oil and Gas having sole operatorship of the asset. This unique transaction involved a complex, first-of-kind financing in the O&G sector and for emerging markets, winning it the IJGlobal Hybrid Finance Deal of the Year 2021. The acquisition by the sponsors of these strategic onshore assets is a continuance of the IOC divestment process that has been taking place, particularly in Nigeria, over the past few years and illustrates the confidence Nigerian investors and international financiers have in the market. The innovative financing is supported by a broad lending group of international and regional commercial banks, strategic industry investors, investment funds and international financial institutions and illustrates the broad appeal of the assets and the financing structure put forward by the sponsors. The total financing is more than $1 billion and the borrowers have the ability to increase commitments across the entire capital structure from time to time, subject to the satisfaction of certain conditions. This financing structure sets a new benchmark for future emerging market financings.


IJGlobal Oil & Gas Deal of the Year

Area 1 Mozambique LNG

In spite numerous attempts to smoke this deal into last year’s awards by fudging the financial close date, we did not hold a grudge and are delighted to single out Area 1 Mozambique LNG as the winner of the IJGlobal Oil & Gas Deal of the Year. This $14.9 billion project finance deal closed in March 2021 and entails the development of the Golfinho-Atum natural gas fields located in Offshore Area 1 concession and entails the construction of a 2-train liquefaction plant with a total capacity of 13.1 million tons per annum of LNG in Mozambique. It stands out as the country’s first onshore LNG development and for the role it will play in the global markets as it is ideally positioned to serve growing demand in the Asia-Pacific and European gas markets. Bolstering the deal, the project entered into a number of long-term LNG contracts with a diverse group of investment-grade offtakers. It benefits from a cost advantage relative to other LNG developments due to the sheer size of the gas resource and potential for multiple additional developments and associated economies of scale. The cost of the initial 2-train LNG project is around $23 billion from inception to completion. The financing is structured on a multi-sourced basis comprising ECAs, DFIs, international and regional commercial banks – the largest by some stretch in Africa and emerging markets in general.


IJGlobal Refinancing Deal of the Year

Ambatovy Nickel & Cobalt Mine Refinance, Madagascar

Ambatovy is a large-tonnage nickel and cobalt mining enterprise in Madagascar and is the worthy winner of the IJGlobal Refinancing Deal of the Year. This project produces high-grade nickel and cobalt briquettes that are used, among other things, in EV batteries. The project comprises a mine site located in the Alaotra Mangoro region of Madagascar where ore is surface mined and transported by pipeline to the plant where it is processed with pressure acid leach technology and refined before being shipped. Ambatovy is the largest foreign investment in Madagascar and one of the largest in sub-Saharan Africa. The enterprise is a major contributor to national prosperity and a significant source of US dollar revenues. Ambatovy’s operations were suspended in March 2020 to prevent the spread of Covid-19, which triggered the restructure of its senior debt obligations… the third restructure since 2016. The $8.8 billion refi closed in June 2021 and ensured the survival of the project, establishing a stable and sustainable basis for it to operate for the benefit of all its stakeholders. It allows the project to recover from a series of events over the preceding years that include local strikes, price shocks, and a tropical cyclone in 2018 that caused significant damage and shut down operations and most recently coronavirus. The restructure involved the commitment of additional funds by the sponsors and the restructure of the existing senior debt into multiple separate instruments. It also involved the restructuring and rationalisation of the existing complicated shareholder funding arrangements which included several separate tiers of shareholder debt instruments.


IJGlobal Mining Deal of the Year

Tri-K Gold Mine Additional Facility, Guinea

The IJGlobal Mining Deal of the Year was this year won by Managem and Sociétés des Mines de Mandiana which is undertaking the design, construction, development and operation of a gold mine of a capacity of 120,000 ounces/year located in Kankan, Mandiana province in the Republic of Guinea. This additional financing facility closed in February 2021 at a total deal value of $122 million and the equity associated with the deal amounts to $57.67 million. The financing will see Tri-K extend over an area of 490 square kilometres, and the lifetime of the mine is expected to be 9 years. It brought to the table 3 lenders: Attijariwafa Bank, Banque Centrale Populaire de Maroc and Societe Generale.


IJGlobal Telecoms Deal of the Year

Ethiopia Telecoms Privatisation, Vodafone

The privatisation of Ethiopia Telecoms by a consortium led by Safaricom – a member of the Vodafone Group – wins the IJGlobal Telecoms Deal of the Year for transformative role this deal will play in the nation’s digital environment and its enhancement to the lives of its citizens. The consortium also included Sumitomo Corporation, Vodacom and CDC. This deal was deemed to be an historic bid for – and successful implementation of – the new telecom license granted by the Government of Ethiopia to set up a greenfield private telecom operator. The liberalisation will also involve the sale of a 45% stake in Ethio Telecom, which has said it also plans to launch mobile money transfer services. The bid winners will secure full operating licences, but they will not be allowed to operate mobile phone-based financial services. The deal is valued at $8 billion and has associated debt of $500 million. The licenses pave the way to open up Ethiopia’s telecoms industry, which is considered the big prize in the country’s push to liberalise the economy as it has one of the world’s last closed telecom markets. Ethiopia is home to more than 112 million people, making it the second largest country in Africa by population. It is one of the last countries in the world to introduce competition in the telecom industry, a rigorous process started by the government in 2019 as part of its Economic Reform Agenda, with the support of the International Finance Corporation.


IJGlobal Transport Deal of the Year

Cote d'Ivoire Terminal

The IJGlobal Transport Deal of the Year for 2021 was won by terminal 2 of Abidjan Port that will be operated by Côte d'Ivoire Terminal (CIT), a joint venture between Bolloré Africa Logistics and APMT (a subsidiary of shipping company Maersk). The project will cover an area of 37.5 hectares with the new container terminal capable of handling more than 1.5 million TEU containers per year and will be able to accommodate vessels with a draught of 16 meters along its 1,100-metre docks. CIT intends not only to meet the needs of the local market, but also to serve as a privileged gateway for neighbouring hinterland countries including Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger, that currently rely on less optimal routes due to capacity restrictions at local gateway terminals. This deal significantly impacts the role Côte d'Ivoire will play in the regional west African market.


IJGlobal Water Deal of the Year

DBSA Green Bond, South Africa

As the first green bond issuance by DBSA and the first time a South African issuer has issued bonds in Euroclear France, this was a worthy winner of the IJGlobal Water Deal of the Year. The proceeds of the issue of the bonds will be applied to projects that contribute to climate mitigation and/or adaptation, that are aligned to the South Africa’s National Development Plan objective of an “environmentally sustainable and equitable transition to a low carbon economy” and that are aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals and with the International Development Finance Club (IDFC) methodologies for mitigation and adaptation. Eligible transactions will primarily include projects falling within the categories of water management as well as solar and wind energy.


IJGlobal Power Deal of the Year

Central Termica de Temane CCGT, Mozambique

Central Termica de Temane (CTT) CCGT is the winner of the IJGlobal Power Deal of the Year 2021, recognising the impact of this project as the 450MW facility meets the demand of 1.5 million households, contributing about 14% of the electricity supply capacity in Mozambique. Not only that, the sponsors – Globeleq, Africa’s leading IPP, along with Electricidade de Moçambique (EDM) and Sasol – brought to the table an interesting array of DFIs. The $652.3 million deal closed in early December with debt financing provided by IFC, together with its B loan participants FMO and Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund ($253.5m), US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) for around $191.5 million and the OPEC Fund for International Development at $50 million. The Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) provided up to $251.3 million in political risk insurance to the private sector equity investors. The World Bank is also providing partial risk guarantees to backstop EDM's payment obligations under the tolling and gas supply agreements. All told, this was a challenging deal to get over the line with a strong leader in the JV and an impact that will be felt across the entire nation.


IJGlobal Renewables Deal of the Year

Redstone CSP, South Africa

As a challenging deal in challenging sector – South Africa’s Redstone concentrated solar power plant is a justified winner of the IJGlobal Renewables Deal of the Year for Africa. The financing of this project is the culmination of a 7-year development journey in the politically and economically fragile environment of South Africa. And it was a rocky path to financial close, especially when an impasse was reached between offtaker and government, leading to key stakeholders exiting the project. The project was bid in March 2014 and the ACWA Power-led consortium was made referred bidder award in January 2015. However, due to an impasse between DMRE and the Eskom, the PPA was signed in April 2018. Such prolonged delay resulted in many structural changes to the project involving various stakeholders viz technology providers, EPC contractors, equity partners. These changes resulted into a complete overhaul of the project… but it still made it over the line, even though it took a long time! The delays also resulted in changes to the lending consortium with some of the key banks exiting, almost collapsing the financing at one stage. Creating liquidity of $800 million for funding a tower technology project in South Africa was not an easy task, but with perseverance, ACWA Power brought together a new set of lenders willing to fund it and achieved financial close in May 2021. Owing to limited precedents with sufficient operating history, the tower CSP technology is considered relatively high-risk projects by the lenders, so ACWA Power created a robust security package with experienced equipment suppliers BrightSource providing solar field and John Cockerill as receiver supplier works. To wrap the EPC package, it brought SEPCO III along with PowerChina as joint and several party, where PowerChina’s strong balance sheet helped. This project also marks entry of SEPCO III in South Africa in CSP space.