The Kpone IPP Project was conceived by the Founding Shareholders, a group of Ghanaian entrepreneurs comprising Samuel Nana Brew-Butler, Dr. Jimmy Heymann, Michael Wilson and Kweku Awotwi. In 2003, the Founding Shareholders incorporated Cenpower Generation Company Limited (CGC or Cenpower) as a limited liability company and the vehicle for the development of the KIPP project. The project faced a number of developmental and financial hurdles, largely due to the fact that, as Ghana’s first greenfield IPP developed on a Project Finance basis, there were no precedents.
Following the completion of initial feasibility studies, including site selection and preliminary engineering and environmental studies, InfraCo (a multi-donor funded project developer) joined the founding shareholders as a project development partner in 2005 and over the ensuing four years, together with the Founding Shareholders, completed several key development milestones, including detailed engineering studies, social and environmental assessments, negotiations for a Power Purchase Agreement, and commenced the procurement process for an Engineering Procurement and Construction (EPC) contractor.
In 2010, Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) acquired a controlling stake in Cenpower, becoming the project lead developer and lead arranger. AFC joined the founding shareholders – who established Cenpower Holdings Limited (CHL) as their investment vehicle for the project - and InfraCo, in the continued development and financing of the project. As lead project developer, AFC had overall responsibility for all project activities and the management of the development team, including the selection of the additional Project Sponsors as well as legal, insurance, financial and technical advisors.
In September 2014, InfraCo transferred its interests in Cenpower to Sumitomo Corporation, a Japanese investor company who became the second largest shareholder of Cenpower Generation Company Limited after Africa Finance Corporation.