CrossBoundary Energy: Unlocking Capital To Power Africa

By Sean Galea-Pace
We examine ABinBev's partner CrossBoundary Energy and examine its position as Africa's leading supplier of cheaper, cleaner electricity for business...

CrossBoundary Energy is Africa’s leading supplier of cheaper, cleaner electricity for business.

The firm is the only commercial owner and operator with on-the-ground experience managing solar in Africa for corporate customers. CrossBoundary Energy (CBE) believes that megawatts speaks louder than words and Africa’s top brands have chosen CBE as their solar energy supplier of choice.

CBE is part of the CrossBoundary Group which is a mission-driven investment organisation with a drive to harness the power of capital to make a strong return while creating a lasting difference in frontier markets.

The organisation takes a transaction-centric approach to frontier markets and provides investment advisory services, having developed a specialised expertise in unlocking investment across all industries across fragile and frontier markets. Its advisory clients include governments, development finance institutions, private equity firms, Fortune 100 companies and research institutions.

Earlier this year, CBE received US$16.5mn in funding from ARCH Emerging Markets Partners’ Africa Renewable Power Fund (ARCH ARPF) to develop and finance new Commercial & Industrial solar assets that will provide businesses across Africa with access to cheaper, cleaner power. 

CBE has pioneered the solar-as-a-service business model in Africa through which corporate customers avoid upfront capital expenditure and instead enter into long-term solar service agreements. Under these agreements, CBE in collaboration with local developers and solar contractors, finances, installs and operates solar assets that provide customers with cleaner and cheaper power. CBE has already developed landmark projects in Kenya, Rwanda, Ghana and Nigeria with its clients including Unilever, Diageo, Heineken, Actis and leading local companies.

This additional funding will allow CBE to reach new markets and customers across Africa and deploy solar PV and battery storage solutions that decrease energy costs, improve power reliability and decrease carbon emissions. 

Pieter Joubert, Chief Investment Officer at CrossBoundary Energy, commented: “Partnering with an industry leading investor like ARCH ARPF highlights the proven viability of captive commercial and industrial solar projects in Africa.

“We’re very excited to work with ARCH ARPF to continue providing Africa’s leading businesses with cheaper, cleaner, more reliable power at no upfront cost. This commitment by ARCH ARPF represents the first phase of a larger transaction which will allow us to take the C&I sector to scale across Africa, and in doing so reduce energy costs for our customers, create additional jobs within the solar sector, and significantly reduce carbon emissions.” 

CrossBoundary delivers 30MW of solar for businesses across Africa. With a good track record, the organisation is laser-focused on providing solutions that work for organisations throughout the region.

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