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Virunga Power

Business model

Investment/Project: Virunga Power
Contract signature date: 13 December 2018
Region: Sub Saharan Africa
Country: Tanzania, Kenya, Burundi, Zambia
Sector: (run of river) Hydropower
Total ElectriFI financing: US$2,500,000
Environmental and Social Category: B+

(A) high risk, (B+) medium high risk, (B) medium risk or (C) low risk

Brief description of the client and project

Virunga Power is a developer, investor and operator of renewable projects and rural distribution grids. Projects under development by Virunga Power include run-the-river small hydro of 3 to 20 MW installed capacity. Its business model incorporates local communities into the development, ownership, and operations of its projects. Virunga Power takes a “grid-as-anchor” approach to expanding electrification by both supplying power to national grids under long-term contracts as well as providing new connections and electricity supply to local household and business consumers with a focus on stimulating productive use of power.

Funding objective


Why ElectriFi has decided to fund this project.

ElectriFI acts as a cornerstone investor supporting Virunga Power to turn into a successful run-the-river hydro project developer which actively supports long-term gains to local communities surrounding its projects.

Environmental and social rationale: Which IFC PSs are triggered and the rationale behind it

This is a category B+ project with potential limited adverse social and environmental (E&S) risk and / or impacts that are few in number, generally site-specific, largely reversible, and readily addressed through mitigation measures. The projects to be developed by Virunga Power light have impacts which will have to be managed in a manner consistent with the risks associated to them where special focus will have to be pun on the construction phase of each new project development. The following Performance Standards will be triggered: • PS 1 – Assessment and Management of Environmental and Social Risks and Impacts • PS 2 – Labour and Working Conditions • PS 3 – Resource Efficiency and Pollution Prevention • PS 4 – Community Health, Safety and Security. Regarding PS5 – Land Acquisition and Involuntary Resettlement, PS6 – Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Management of Living Natural Resources and PS7– Indigenous Peoples as well as PS8 – Cultural Heritage these will be addressed on a case by case basis depending on the characteristics of each nee project.