SOUTH AFRICA: AIIM invests in 3 solar plants (30 MWp) for Harmony

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SOUTH AFRICA: AIIM invests in 3 solar plants (30 MWp) for Harmony© Todor Stoyanov/Shutterstock

In South Africa, African Infrastructure Investment Managers (AIIM) has confirmed a majority stake in three solar power plants to supply electricity to a commercial and industrial (C&I) customer. With a combined capacity of 30 MWp, the plants will be commissioned in 2023.

African Infrastructure Investment Managers (AIIM) is expanding its energy infrastructure portfolio in South Africa. The private equity fund manager is taking a majority stake in a project to build three solar photovoltaic plants in South Africa. So far, the project is being implemented by BB Energy and Energy Group.

The three plants will provide clean electricity for the operations of Harmony, a mining company based in Johannesburg, South Africa. In its operational phase, the project is expected to generate 30 MWp, making it one of the largest commercial and industrial (C&I) customer projects in South Africa. The construction phase is expected to start this June 2022.

Commissioning in 2023

The solar power plants being built at Welkom in the Free State province are expected to start supplying clean electricity between March and April 2023. The future plants will be connected via a combination of transmission and metering solutions. According to AIIM, once fully operational, the solar plants are expected to provide 68 GWh of clean energy in the first 12 months of operation and 1.3 TWh over the 20-year life of the facilities.

Read also- SADC: AIIM raises $376 million to finance renewable energy through Ideas

AIIM is investing in this C&I project through the Ideas Managed Fund (Ideas), an investment fund dedicated to economic (roads and railways), social (housing) and renewable energy infrastructure in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries. The three solar power plants are financed by a combination of debt and equity. The equity is invested by Ideas and the Mahlako Energy Fund 1 (Mahlako) managed by Mahlako Financial Services. Debt is provided by Rand Merchant Bank, a subsidiary of FirstRand Bank (RMB).

Decarbonising Harmony’s facilities

“Together with our partner Mahlako, we are delighted to conclude this transaction and create a lasting partnership with Harmony. This portfolio reinforces Ideas’ position as a leading investor in the renewable energy sector, and in the C&I market in particular,” says Sean Friend, Chief Investment Officer at AIIM and co-portfolio manager of the Ideas fund.

This solar power project supports Harmony’s decarbonisation strategy. In fact, Welkom’s solar plants will enable the mining company to reduce its emissions by 65,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent in the first year of operation, according to AIIM.

Jean Marie Takouleu


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