BGFA is launching its second Call for Proposals (BGFA2) inviting interested off-grid energy companies to compete for funding with the aim of engaging them to develop new sustainable businesses and thereby accelerate access to affordable and clean off-grid energy at scale for customers in peri-urban and rural areas of Mozambique.
BGFA is a results-based funding facility established to incentivise the private energy sector to provide affordable clean, high quality off-grid energy services to underserved people in rural and peri-urban areas in Sub-Saharan African countries.
The energy services are to be implemented during a four-year period with total funding of EUR 6.7 million provided by the Swedish government. Power Africa, an initiative administered by USAID, is providing an in-kind technical assistance contribution to the BGFA Programme. Denmark has joined the BGFA programme for its expansion into Uganda and Germany is about to join the on-going BGFA1 as regards activities in Zambia.
BGFA2 is targeted at incentivising private energy companies to accelerate access to off-grid modern and affordable energy.
Nature of Financing
The BGFA approach provides direct, results-based financing to energy service providers to unlock early structural challenges in the off-grid market, build business and investor confidence and proactively mobilise various types of downstream investment and debt financing.
To be successful Applicants are expected to provide a substantial amount of their own financing as well as to mobilise co-financing.
The expectation is that up to 42,000 off-grid energy service systems (ESSs) will be established during the project implementation period, thus benefiting more than 210,000 people in peri- urban and rural areas. The indicative individual contract ticket size is expected to be EUR 1.5 – 2 million.
Applicants and project proposals will be evaluated in two phases:
I. Pre-Qualification stage (this phase); and
II. the Final Application stage.
The current invitation calls for Pre-Qualification applications. Only Applicants of project proposals passing the Pre-Qualification stage will be invited to submit a full application during the Final Application stage. Final decisions on the financing are expected to be made by February 2022.
All documentation submitted for the Pre-Qualification should be provided in English and all financial information shall be denominated in EUR. Submitted Pre-Qualification applications will be considered to be in their final form.
The BGFA2 Pre-Qualification Guidelines, including the Pre-Qualification Concept Note template annexed to them outline the BGFA2 funding opportunities as well as the eligibility criteria and minimum requirements that Applicants and proposed projects need to meet in order to be invited to submit a full proposal and compete for BGFA2 funding.
Pre-Qualification applications should be submitted online at the latest by 29 March 2021 at 16:00 hrs Helsinki Time (UTC +3 hrs) (‘Closing time). The online intake system and related guidance will be accessible via www.beyondthegrid.africa from 8 February and the application forms in the online system will be open from 16:00 hrs Helsinki Time (UTC +3 hrs).
Registration and additional information
All communication relating to the Pre-Qualification process will be made to Applicants via the online application intake system, SmartME. It is strongly recommended that Applicants wishing to submit project proposals for pre-qualification register on this application platform at the earliest opportunity.
Questions relating to the Pre-Qualification phase can be submitted until 1 March 2021 at 16:00 hrs Helsinki Time (UTC +3 hrs) as set out on the intake system. Applicants will be requested to post questions only via the SmartME intake system. Questions and answers will be made available to all Applicants in a redacted form on 10 March 2021.
Read more in the attached Invitation Letter and Pre-Qualification guidelines (BGFA2). More information on the Beyond the Grid Fund for Africa here.