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AIIM reaches financial close on two South African wind farms

The ACED team has brought on around 470MW of private wind and solar projects to financial close in the last 24 months. (Image source: Adobe Stock)

African Infrastructure Investment Manager (AIIM) has achieved financial close on two wind farms in South Africa to supply renewable energy for Rio Tinto’s Richards Bay Minerals (RBM) operations and alongside Sibanye Stillwater via wheeling agreements

The projects in question are the 140MW Khangela and 140MW Umsinde Emoyeni wind farms which have been led and developed by ACED, the renewable energy project development platform of AIIM. Alongside the AIIM-managed IDEAS Fund, Reatile Renewables has also invested in the projects.

“We are immensely proud to have achieved financial close and construction commencement on another two private renewables projects in partnership with some of South Africa’s key mining houses,” remarked James Cumming, general manager of ACED. “Not only will the projects provide Rio’s Richards Bay Minerals and Sibanye Stillwater with clean energy for their operations, but they will also create jobs and development funding streams to support and grow local communities living adjacent to the projects.”

The deal entails the sale of power to the mining houses through 20-year Power Purchase Agreements. Khangela and Umsinde Emoyeni Wind Farms are situated near Murraysburg in the Western Cape, with a small portion of the proposed development site falling into the Northern Cape.

Rand Merchant Bank (RMB), a division of FirstRand Bank Limited, is the sole mandated lead arranger for both projects, and operations and maintenance services for the projects once built will be provided by AIIM’s in-house operator, EIMS.

Alleviating load shedding

“The addition of increased power generation capacity to the national grid will contribute to offsetting the power deficit currently being experienced in the country,” added Cumming.

“AIIM continues to be committed to and successfully executing its mandate of investing in renewable energy projects that can deliver sustainable investment returns over the long-term to our predominantly South African pension fund investor base,” commented Sechaba Selemela, investment principal at AIIM. “Our in-house development platforms provide us with a differentiated and steady flow of large-scale investment opportunities, which are unmatched in this market.”

Simphiwe Mehlomakulu, executive chairman of Reatile Group, contributed, “We are delighted to have reached financial close on both projects and support big businesses such that they continue to create employment and opportunities in the South African communities in which we operate. We continue to bring tangible solutions to alleviating load shedding by bringing sustainable generation capacity to the grid in South Africa.”

“Financial close of the Umsinde Emoyeni wind farm marks another critical step in our journey to carbon neutrality by 2040,” stated Sibanye-Stillwater CEO, Neal Froneman. “The renewable energy secured through our four PPAs will enable a stepped reduction in our carbon footprint, aiming to contribute not only to mitigate the effects of climate change, but also enhancing the sustainability and shared value creation of our SA operations through favourable pricing relative to current supply. We continue to develop and execute energy solutions that contribute to the delivery of our strategy.”

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