Engineering, construction, commissioning and operation of a run-of-the-river hydropower plant at the Félou falls in Mali. A turn-key contract for the construction of the Félou plant was signed in May 2009 with Sinohydro Corp. Ltd. The construction work has been completed. The first set of generators have been installed and running in 2014 with some delays and connected to the grid. The bidding procedure launched in 2012 to recruit an operator for the Manantali and Félou dams and the interconnection to the load centres in Mali, Mauritania and Senegal has been unsuccessful, and the contract with the operator of Manantali ended. The promoter of the project, SOGEM had to create, in agreement with the lenders, a subsidiary (SEMAF), which took over most of the staff of the previous operator, to operate those infrastructures.
The grant from the EU-AITF is used by EIB to reduce the interest rate for the three EIB loans extended to Mali, Mauritania and Senegal, allowing the three States to meet HIPC requirements. Due to tedious conditions precedent to a first disbursement, EIB’s loans only started disbursing in October 2010; slightly more than EUR 6.3 m has been spent from the EU-AITF grant for subsidising the interest rate applicable to the first twelve loan disbursements.