Michelmores advises on AgDevCo's Suma Hydro investment

Michelmores has advised AgDevCo on its joint US$ 2.5m project financing and equity investment into Suma Hydro Limited (Suma), a Tanzanian hydroelectric plant. The Michelmores team comprised Partner Carol McCormack and Solicitor Henry Mayman on the project finance element, and Partner Joe Whitfield and Associate Harry Trick on the equity investment element of the project. Tanzanian legal advice was provided by Clyde & Co.

AgDevCo's investment will be used to help fund the building of Suma's run-of-river hydroelectric plant on the Suma river in Tanzania. The project will provide sustainable power to the Wakulima Tea Company's tea factory and will electrify the surrounding area. A total of approximately 700 businesses and households are anticipated to access electricity for the first time in the area.

Other shareholders of Suma include Rift Valley Energy, a large renewable-energy project developer, and Tanzania Tea Packers Limited (TATEPA) which owns the Wakulima Tea Company.

The project is the first hydroelectric project developed in Tanzania under the Global Environment Facility’s Greening the Tea Industry in East Africa initiative.

AgDevCo, a long-standing client of Michelmores, is a social impact investor and project developer that operates exclusively in the African agrisector. AgDevCo has now invested over US$ 76m in 53 agribusinesses in sub-Saharan Africa, connecting tens of thousands of farmers to market and generating over 3,200 jobs.

Joe Whitfield, Partner at Michelmores commented:

"We were delighted to have been able to assist AgDevCo on this innovative matter. Projects such as this have the enormous potential to change so many people's lives through the provision of electricity and jobs to the local community."