British International Investment

Gridworks Development Partners LLP

East AfricaSouthern AfricaInfrastructure

Gridworks is a development and investment platform principally targeting equity investments in transmission, distribution, and off-grid electricity in Africa.

This investment was made when British International Investment was named CDC Group.

Our investment

Description of the investment.

Gridworks was launched by British International Investment in 2019, with the aim of developing and investing in financially sustainable electricity networks to improve the quality and availability of power in Africa. In doing so, Gridworks will improve quality of life, create economic opportunities and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Impact information

Applies to investments made from 2019 onwards. The tabs in this section define what we expect to achieve through the investment, assessing the potential impact of the investment against six dimensions of impact. You can find more details on our methodology of assessing impact here.

What?

Impact

-Economic opportunities created through the growth of firms benefitting from improved electricity supply (SDG 8.5).

-Improve standards of living for end consumers through the provision of more and better-quality clean energy (SDG 7.1, 7.2).

-Improve environmental sustainability and contribute to climate action by reducing greenhouse gas emissions through the uptake of more renewables (SDG 13A).

How?

How?
  • Direct: Avoid/reduce greenhouse gas emissions through the displacement of thermal power.

  • Economic enabler: Deliver new power capacity, increasing the supply of reliable electricity to firms and households. This increases productivity, leading to economic growth and job creation, and improving the quality of life for end consumers.

  • Catalytic: Demonstrating the viability of electricity transmission and distribution in Africa to commercial investors. If successful, the platform will pave the way for more investment in transmission and distribution and demonstrate a model for other commercial investors to follow.

Who?

Stakeholder Geography Characteristics
Employees

Pan-Africa

N/A

Consumers

Pan-Africa

Urban/peri-urban households

Planet

Global

N/A

How much?

Scale Depth/Duration

The platform is at an early stage of development.

  • Employees: The impact on economic opportunities is expected to be deeper in countries where there are higher poverty and unemployment levels.
  • Consumers: Consumers suffering from unreliable grid access and high levels of poverty will benefit from quality of life improvements, and these are expected to be even greater for those consumers who use more electricity.

Contribution/additionality

Contribution/additionality
  • Financial: Long-term equity development finance institution capital is required for transmission and distribution development in Africa.

Risk

Execution Risk
  • There is a risk the platform will not have the demonstration effect sought, further private sector investment will not be deployed in transmission and distribution and the model will not be replicable. This risk will need to be tolerated given the importance of the demonstration effect to achieving the intended impact.

Environmental and social information

  • Environmental and social summary

    A high-level description of the environmental and social aspects of the investment. This may include a summary of key environmental and social risks identified during environmental and social due diligence (ESDD); key elements of an environmental and social action plan (ESAP); or ways in which we plan to support the investee improve environmental and social standards, such as through their environmental and social management system (ESMS); as well as any other priority areas agreed with the investee.

  • Environmental and social risk

    A risk category rating, which indicates the level of environmental and social risk associated with an investment. For an explanation of the categorisations used, see here. We consistently provide an environmental and social risk category for all investments screened from 2023 onwards.

Environmental and social summary

We have agreed to focus on the development of a robust ESMS, with a focus on areas like occupational health and safety, supply chain management, land acquisition, stakeholder engagement and safeguarding procedures.

Reporting and Complaints Mechanism

The Reporting and Complaints Mechanism allows anyone outside BII to report alleged breaches of the business integrity or environmental and social provisions of BII’s Policy on Responsible Investing. This includes breaches made by BII, a BII investee, or a portfolio company of a fund in which BII has invested. The Reporting and Complaints Mechanism Rules are available here. Reports and complaints can be submitted by email to [email protected] or by mail. See more details on our Reporting and Complaints Mechanism here.

For any other general enquiries contact us at [email protected]

  • Key facts

    Last updated

    When the last quarterly update of the website database occurred.

    :
    January 2024
    Project number

    An identifier number shared by investments in the same project.

    :
    D4484
    Status

    The current status of the investment (green flag for active and red flag for exited).

    :
    Active
    Region

    The geographical region where the country is located. We currently invest in Africa, South Asia, South East Asia and the Caribbean. In 2023, BII’s investment mandate was extended allowing it to invest in regional funds linked to Ukraine, with the majority of activity expected to begin post-war. Investments outside these regions were made prior to 2012 under previous investment mandates.

    :
    East Africa, Southern Africa
    Sector

    We prioritise those sectors that facilitate development and need our capital the most. Our priority sectors contribute towards many of the Sustainable Development Goals. They range from investing in the power infrastructure that will provide people with better access to electricity, to investing in financial institutions that direct capital to the individuals and businesses that need it the most.

    :
    Infrastructure

    We provide capital in the following ways: directly – through direct equity, direct debt, guarantees and other non-intermediated financial instruments; and indirectly – principally through investment funds.

    For direct investments and fund investments, this is the date BII committed capital to the investments. This is typically the date on which legal agreements are signed by all parties.

    For the portfolio companies of our fund investments, this is the date (either the month or the quarter) on which the fund committed capital to the portfolio company.

    For direct equity investments, this is the date at which British International Investment exited the investment.

    For debt investments, this is the date at which the final debt repayment was made.

    For funds, this is the date at which the fund was terminated.

    For underlying fund investments, this is the date at which the fund manager exited the investment.

    The total amount committed, per financial instrument, per investment, on the date BII becomes subject to a binding legal obligation to provide funding or assume a contingent liability. This information is provided in US dollars.

    For direct investments, this is the amount that BII has committed to the business or project. For fund investments, this is the amount BII has committed to the fund.

    The currency in which the investment was made.

    Investment type :
    Equity
    Start date :
    January 2021
    Amount :
    $47.7m
    Currency of investment :
    USD
    Domicile

    The company or investment fund’s place of incorporation.

    :
    United Kingdom
    Climate finance

    Indicates whether the investment is climate finance qualified or partially climate finance qualified and the type of climate finance (adaptation, mitigation or both). We define climate finance using the multilateral development bank (MDB) and the International Development Finance Club (IDFC) Common Principles climate finance methodology. See Common Principles for Climate Mitigation Finance Tracking and Common Principles for Climate Change Adaptation Finance Tracking. We provide the climate finance qualification and type for commitments from 2020 onwards, which is when we launched our Climate Change Strategy.

    :
    Fully qualified
    Climate finance type:
    Mitigation

Related investments made by BII into this company:

Investment name Commitment Region Sector Start date Status
Investment 01 $11.78m East Africa, Southern Africa Infrastructure June 2019 Active
Investment 02 $5.86m East Africa, Southern AfricaEast Africa, Southern Africa Infrastructure July 2020 Active
Investment 04 $42.7m East Africa, Southern AfricaEast Africa, Southern AfricaEast Africa, Southern Africa Infrastructure March 2022 Active
Investment 05 $10m East Africa, Southern AfricaEast Africa, Southern AfricaEast Africa, Southern AfricaEast Africa, Southern Africa Infrastructure June 2023 Active

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