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Standard Chartered Raises Power Africa Pledge to $5 Billion

July 30 (Bloomberg) -- Standard Chartered Plc said it will pledge a further $3 billion to a White House initiative aimed at improving access to electricity in Africa after it spent $2 billion on the same project during the past 12 months.

“We expect to add around 7,500 megawatts to Africa’s power grid -- equivalent to the electricity production capacity of Nigeria” and Ivory Coast, Peter Sands, chief executive officer of the London-based bank, said in an e-mailed statement today.

The Power Africa initiative was started by U.S. President Barack Obama in June last year to deliver electricity to more than 20 million households and companies by 2018. More than two-thirds of the population of sub-Saharan Africa is without electricity, with about 85 percent of people living in rural areas lacking access, the White House said.

Standard Chartered is helping fund the Azura-Edo and Okija power projects that will add more than 900 megawatts of capacity in Nigeria, the continent’s biggest economy.

The lender’s African private-equity unit has invested funds in Zambia Energy Corp., whose CEC Africa unit has bought the 600-megawatt Shiroro hydropower plant in Nigeria’s Niger state and also purchased Abuja Electricity Distribution Co.

To contact the reporter on this story: Andre Janse van Vuuren in Johannesburg at ajansevanvuu@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: John Viljoen at jviljoen@bloomberg.net Ana Monteiro, Alastair Reed

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