Private capital investment firm Actis has confirmed the sale of its 60% stake in pan-African renewables giant, Lekela Power, to a consortium comprised of Abu Dhabi’s Masdar and Egypt’s Infinity Energy.
The deal, with final costs still to be confirmed, is currently estimated at $1 billion, having attracted considerable interest from bidders worldwide, namely, Chinese state fund CNIC; global investment banking firm, Goldman Sachs; African green energy supplier, Globeleq; Chinese oil major, Sinopec; South African resource company, Exxaro, and investment solutions firm, Old Mutual.
The Lekela sale will not be Actis’ only such deal this year, with the recent announcement that a further Africa-focused renewables firm, BioTherm Energy Renewables, will also hit the market.
Lekela specializes in wind power while BioTherm in both wind and bioenergy experts. These sales demonstrate the advancement of renewables in the African market with bioenergy now forming the backbone of many of the continent’s low-carbon power networks and the cost of wind energy having dropped by up to 70% in the past decade, making it Africa’s cheapest power source after solar.
Valued at $2 billion, Lekela’s portfolio includes over 1,300 MW of wind assets across the African continent, among which includes a 225 MW development in Ghana and Senegal’s largest wind farm, the 158.7 MW Taiba N’Diaye facility, supplying two million people with power and operating under a 20-year power purchase agreement signed in 2013. The Taiba N’Diaye facility is also currently eyeing expansions with the potential to add a further 100 MW capacity. The Lekela purchase deal, expected to be finalized and actioned in the coming weeks, will see Masdar – a renewable energy firm owned by United Arab Emirates (UAE) sovereign investment company, Mubadala – establish its first foothold in southern Africa as part of a growing wave of investments that’s seen the UAE rise to the status of Africa’s fourth largest global investor with some $5.6 billion dedicated to 71 projects.
The sale to Masdar and Infinity Energy will see no cutbacks in Lekela’s work but potentially quite the opposite, having inaugurated just this March the 252 MW West Bakr wind farm in the Gulf of Suez, Egypt– the company’s largest project thus far. It joins the 143.1 MW Kangnas wind facility and neighbouring wind farms dubbed ‘Khobab’ and ‘Loeriesfontein 2’ with 140 MW each, along with the 81 MW Noupoort wind farm in South Africa.
As the MSGBC Oil, Gas & Power Summit 2022 approaches this September in Dakar, investors not only from the UAE but across Africa, Europe, Asia, America, Australia and the Middle East will converge in the MSGBC basin. With $2.5 billion in deals having been signed at Energy Capital & Power’s events last year alone, and with Mauritania recently seeing $40 billion in solar and wind-powered green hydrogen projects greenlit, the region’s unparalleled potential for renewables is now coming to be recognized and is ripe for investment.