MegaProject 1058: The Government of Rwanda and Metito announce the financial close of the Kigali Bulk Water Supply Project

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The Government of Rwanda and Metito have announced the financial close of the Kigali Bulk Water Supply Project. This project is the first competitively tendered Build Operate Transfer (BOT) Water Concession in Sub-Saharan Africa outside of South Africa. Construction is forecasted to last 30 months from the commencement date.

The project will be located in Kanzenze, in the South-Eastern part of Kigali, Rwanda’s capital city. It will provide 40 million litres of fresh, clean and safe water per day to the residents of Kigali to serve domestic, commercial and industrial end users, thereby meeting 40% of the Kigali city’s potable water needs. The treated water will be extracted from the south bank of the Nyabarongo River and will supplement existing water supplies in a strategic move to meet Kigali’s growing water demands – a city with a population of over one million residents.

This iconic project is being developed by Kigali Water Limited (KWL), a fully owned subsidiary of Metito. KWL will design, build, maintain and operate the treatment plant and will then sell potable water to the Water & Sanitation Corporation of Rwanda (WASAC) under a 27- year PPP agreement.

The Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (EAIF), a member of the Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG), is the mandated Lead Arranger of the financing of this project which is worth US$60.8 million. EAIF and The African Development Bank (AFDB) are covering US$40.6 million of the capital cost of the project; US$38 million of Senior Debt and US$2.6 million of Junior Debt with all loans on 18-year terms. The balance will be provided by Metito as equity finance. The Kigali Bulk Surface Water Supply PPP project also benefits from a US$6.25 million grant from PIDG’s Technical Assistance Facility.

The Kigali Bulk Water Supply Project was awarded to Metito through an international and competitive tender process. The completion of its financing marks a historic moment and a milestone in Rwanda’s progressive vision to build an economic, prosperous and first class developed country. The successful Financial Close of a project of this size also highlights the effective partnership between the public and private sectors. It will pave the way for other similar capital intensive projects in Africa and enhance the international investor community’s appetite for investing in Rwanda. 

Throughout this process, Metito received legal advice from Norton Rose Fulbright, financial advice from Synergy Consulting and insurance advice from Willis Watson Towers. EAIF and AFDB received legal advice from Allen & Overy, technical advice from WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff and insurance advice from Indecs Consulting.

David White, Chairman of the Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund, says,

“The conclusion of the financing is tremendous news for Rwanda. Fresh, clean water has a fundamental role to play in economic development and water-dependent businesses like hotels, food processing and leisure, will have greater confidence in investing in Kigali. The financing exercise has been a model of cooperation between EAIF, the AFDB, the Government of Rwanda, and Metito.”

Mutaz Ghandour, Metito Chairman and CEO, said,

“The Kigali Bulk Surface Water Supply PPP project puts Rwanda on the map for the international investor community and marks a historic moment for Rwanda. Together, today, we are setting a precedent not only for Rwanda, but for the whole of Sub-Saharan Africa, and surely for Metito. Once complete, this will become an exemplar project for PPPs in the region – there is no doubt – so today, we must all celebrate alongside the People of Rwanda.

He added,

“Africa has huge potential and we expect this to continue as critical infrastructure develops around the provision of key utilities. To undertake such capital-intensive infrastructure projects, the PPP scheme remains to be the best, and sometimes unavoidable, formula, and Metito acknowledges this. Our global growth strategy aims at expanding our presence in Africa, and augmenting Metito’s well established and tested operations in North, West and now East Africa, and this remarkable project here in Kigali is in line with this strategy. The diligence and effort put into the structuring of the project and towards reaching Financial Close is outstanding, and we look forward to working with our partners on this project and other similar opportunities in Rwanda and the region. We are honored to be part of this.”