Norwegian solar power producer Scatec Solar has partnered with infrastructure fund Africa50 and Norway’s investment fund Norfund to develop a US$150mn solar plant in Nigeria.

A joint development agreement (JDA) between the three parties will secure an estimated US$150mn investment into the 100MW Nova Scotia power plant, which will be built in Jigawa in northern Nigeria.

The solar project is backed by the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (Opic), the Islamic Development Bank and the African Development Bank (AfDB), who are expected to be senior debt providers.

The parties are targeting financial close and the start of construction in 2017, with the plant scheduled to begin commercial operations in 2018.

“The formation of this consortium is a strong symbol of the Norwegian and Nigerian commitment to invest in clean energy in Nigeria,” says Scatec Solar’s executive vice president Terje Pilskog. “With the Government of Norway taking a direct investment role through Norfund, significant regional and Nigerian ownership through Africa50, and the track-record of Scatec Solar, this offers one of the most solid partnerships for solar photovoltaic projects globally.”

Africa50 is an infrastructure fund supported by over 20 African governments, the AfDB and institutional investors, with a mission to mobilise private sector funding for infrastructure development in Africa.

According to Dr. Akinwuni Adesina, president of AfDB and chairman of Africa50’s board of directors, the JDA marks the first investment made by Africa50.

Under the agreement, Scatec Solar will own 50% of the project, while Norfund and Africa50 together will own the remaining 50%.

Electricity from the plant, an estimated 200,000 MWh per year, will be sold to Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading (NBET) under a 20-year power purchase agreement that was signed in July.