African Infrastructure Fund Acquires Stakes in South African Solar and Wind Projects

The African Infrastructure Investment Managers (AIIM), one of Africa’s infrastructure-focused private equity fund managers and a member of the Old Mutual Alternative Investments (OMAI), has acquired stakes in nine new solar and wind power plants in South Africa through its IDEAS Managed Fund.

These nine projects account for 794.9 MW of renewable generation capacity. All nine facilities are expected to be fully operational by the end of 2020.

AIIM’s IDEAS Managed Fund acquired a 50.01 percent equity stake in the following: Bokamoso 67.9 MW solar photovoltaic (PV) project, Waterloo 75 MW solar PV project, Droogfontien II 75 MW solar PV project, Zeerust 75 MW solar PV project, Greefspan II 55 MW, and De Wiltd 50 MW solar PV projects.

Through the fund, AIIM also acquired stakes in the Roggeveld 147 MW, Perdekraal 110 MW and Kangnas 140 MW wind farms.

When all nine power facilities are fully operational, they will provide an additional 800 MW of renewable energy capacity to South Africa’s national power grid. The power facilities will deliver about 2,425 GWh annually, preventing around 2.4 million tons of carbon emissions from traditional fossil fuel power plants.

When operating at full capacity, they are expected to supply enough green electricity to power about 522,730 medium sized South African homes. This additional clean power capacity has been added under Round 4 of REIPPP, which is committed to securing 2,300 MW of new renewable electricity for South Africa’s national grid over the next five years.

Commenting on the investments, Sean Friend, Investment Director at AIIM said, “We are delighted to have completed these renewable energy deals. The new plants will provide essential clean energy to the grid which, in addition to environmental benefits, will help boost economic growth by creating jobs in construction and follow-up operations and maintenance. We also expect the investment to stimulate further economic development in the areas where the new renewable facilities are located. We are looking at almost R9 billion in total capital expenditure across these power projects, where IDEAS is the main Sponsor. Being able to successfully conclude deals of this scale reflects the strength and depth of AIIM’s team which has the expertise necessary to handle a sponsorship role of this magnitude.”

South Africa is working towards improving its energy mix and increasing its energy efficiency while reducing its dependence on coal. Recently, New Development Bank (NDB), an initiative by BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) countries, approved a $300 million loan for sustainable development projects in South Africa.

Mercom previously reported, Globeleq, an independent power producer and developer in Africa, is set to acquire Brookfield Asset Management’s interests in its South African renewable energy portfolio.

Even the International Company for Water and Power Projects (ACWA Power) has announced that it will soon begin the construction of a 100 MW solar project in South Africa.