Enel and Qatar Investment Authority to develop renewables in SSA

EGP QIAEnel Green Power SpA (EGP) has 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 800MW 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 and construction, as well as operation and maintenance of renewable plants, with QIA’s long term investment strategy, in line with the two companies’ sustainability and decarbonisation targets.”

Commenting on the announcement, Mansoor bin Ebrahim Al-Mahmoud, CEO of QIA said, “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 decarbonisation 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 800MW (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.

The initial portfolio, for an overall installed capacity of about 800MW, consists of one plant already in full operation in Zambia (the Ngonye PV plant, of 34MW), one recently-connected plant in South Africa (the 148MW Nxuba wind farm), and four projects under construction (for a total of 587MW), namely the South African wind farms of Oyster Bay (148MW), Garob (145MW), Karusa (147MW) as well as Soetwater (147MW). These plants hold long-term power purchase agreements. Oyster Bay, Karusa, Soetwater and Garob are expected to start operating during 2021.

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