Enel and QIA in a joint venture to develop renewable energy in Sub-Saharan Africa
Enel Green Power (EGP), signed an agreement with a subsidiary of Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) for a joint venture partnership aimed at financing, building and operating renewable projects in Sub-Saharan Africa. The parties also signed an agreement whereby QIA will acquire 50% of EGP’s stake in projects in operation and under construction in South Africa and Zambia with approximately 800 MW capacity.
Francesco Starace, Enel CEO and General Manager said: “Through this new partnership, we will combine our Group’s sustainable strategy, enhanced by our industrial expertise in business development, engineering & construction, as well as operation & maintenance of renewable plants, with QIA’s long term investment strategy, in line with the two companies’ sustainability and decarbonization targets. We will work together to accelerate the creation of an extensive green energy footprint in Sub-Saharan Africa, contributing to the continued pursuit of its ambitious goals in this sector by further harnessing the region’s immense renewable potential and contributing to a more sustainable economic development model in this part of the world.”
Mansoor bin Ebrahim Al-Mahmoud, CEO of QIA said: “We are delighted to partner with Enel Green Power to invest in clean energy generation in Sub-Saharan Africa. QIA is committed to supporting the transition to a low-carbon future, and we believe this investment can make a significant environmental and social impact. We share a mutual vision with Enel in supporting decarbonization efforts and believe this investment represents an excellent opportunity to develop and grow a leading renewable energy platform in the region.”
In this first phase, the transaction involves the acquisition by QIA of 50% of EGP’s stake in four projects under construction in South Africa and two plants in operation in the same country as well as in Zambia, for a total capacity equal to approximately 800 MW (“the initial portfolio”). The overall transaction is subject to the “change of control approval” and “antitrust clearance” from relevant institutions and regulatory authorities. Under the transaction, EGP and QIA will form a new legal entity for future developments in Sub-Saharan Africa. After closing, all legal entities may be merged into a sole joint venture company.
Under the agreement, EGP will be responsible for the development of each project and the joint venture has the right to invest in the projects following the successful completion of the development phase by EGP and receipt of any required regulatory approvals. At that point, the joint venture will be in charge of financing and building the new renewable projects.
This overall transaction is in the framework of the “Stewardship” businessmodel, in line with the Group’s Strategic Plan for 2021-2023, whereby the Group provides key services, products or know-how enabled by platforms catalyzing investments of third parties to maximize value creation. EGP, including through its local subsidiaries, will support each project in the joint venture, in relation to the funding, construction and operation activities.
The initial portfolio, for an overall installed capacity of about 800 MW, consists of one plant already in full operation in Zambia (the Ngonye PV plant, of 34 MW), one recently-connected plant in South Africa (the 148 MW Nxuba wind farm), and four projects under construction (for a total of 587 MW), namely the South African wind farms of Oyster Bay (148 MW), Garob (145 MW), Karusa (147 MW) as well as Soetwater (147 MW). These plants hold long-term power purchase agreements. Oyster Bay, Karusa, Soetwater and Garob are expected to start operating during 2021.
In South Africa, Enel Green Power will retain ownership of more than 500 MW including the wind farms Nojoli (88 MW) and Gibson Bay (111 MW), as well as solar plants Upington (10 MW), Adams (82.5 MW), Pulida (82.5 MW), Tom Burke (66 MW), Paleishuewel (82.5 MW).