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Revego Africa Energy Limited invests in South African solar power plant

May 18, 2021

Revego Africa Energy Limited (Revego), has announced its first major acquisition, in the form of a 12% stake in the 50 MW Bokpoort Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) asset in the Northern Cape for R204 million.

Bokpoort CSP is one of South Africa’s premier CSP projects and fulfils Revego’s mandate of investing in operational, dividend-earning renewable assets. Revego is buying the stake from Metier, one of South Africa’s leading private equity firms, who manages the Lereko Metier Sustainable Capital fund.

Bokpoort CSP is a 50MW plant run as an independent power producer, with Saudi Arabian based ACWA Power International acting as the operational partner.

Bokpoort CSP was one of the first CSP projects in South Africa under the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement (REIPPP) programme. It is unusual among renewable energy projects in that it has significant energy storage onsite in the form of thermal salt storage. It recently became the first renewable facility in Africa to complete a full week of continuous operations, going on to run continuously for 13 days using its onsite storage. It also claimed the record as South Africa’s largest infrastructure refinancing transaction, of approximately R5bn.

Reyburn Hendricks, CEO of Revego, says the Bokpoort CSP acquisition is an important first step towards building the Revego portfolio. “The economics of the acquisition stack up well – Bokpoort CSP is backed by a 20-year Power Purchase Agreement with Eskom, supported by government guarantees, and with a power tariff indexed to the Consumer Price Index,” he argues. “Our investment team also has expertise in renewable energy acquisitions and the complexities of CSP technology.”

Hendricks adds that a major part of Revego’s strategy is to provide a viable option to early-stage investors in renewable projects. “These are investors whose investment objective have been achieved, such as private equity firms or sponsors looking for an exit, BEE investors looking to realise gains or redeploy capital, or REIPPP investors wanting to liquidate their holdings into cash or into a listed asset such as Revego,” he explains.

In this case, Metier was looking to realise its investment in a project in which it has been involved from the outset, from site identification through to successful operation. Partners Marc Immerman and Michael Goldblatt with Metier and Lereko and supported by the Industrial Development Corporation, initiated the Bokpoort CSP project and were active throughout the entire development, construction and operational periods.

This was part of Metier’s sustainable capital practice, which targets investments in energy efficiency, renewables, water and waste management businesses, as well as projects supporting Africa’s development objectives and environmental commitments.

Goldblatt says Metier is proud of the role it has played in bringing Bokpoort CSP to where it is today. “In addition to a well-operated and significant renewable plant on the South African grid, we also leave a lasting legacy of extensive and successful socio-economic development programmes implemented in the local community, including a comprehensive youth centre, a farming ownership programme, school feeding vegetable gardens, and bursaries for local students amongst others. We are confident that Revego, alongside other shareholders, will continue to take the project from strength to strength.”

The Bokpoort CSP acquisition ahead of the listing of Revego on the JSE, has been funded through a bridge facility provided by Investec Bank. Investec is also a cornerstone investor in Revego, alongside UKCI, a joint venture between the Green Investment Group and the UK government and the Eskom Pension and Provident Fund.