Standard Bank gets approval to acquire renewable energy projects

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The Competition Tribunal has given a fund owned by Standard Bank the green light to acquire renewable energy projects in SA for an undisclosed amount.

In a statement, the competition watchdog says in this transaction, Mulilo Renewable Energy and Greenstreet, through its Stanlib Fund, will acquire Mulilo Prieska and Mulilo De Aar.

Stanlib Fund II SPV is wholly-owned and controlled by Standard Bank Group and is a private equity investment fund established to acquire a portfolio of long-term infrastructure assets.

Mulilo is owned and controlled by Mulilo Energy Holdings and it controls Mulilo Renewable Energy Solar PV Prieska and Mulilo Renewable Energy Solar PV De Aar, which are involved in producing renewable energy electricity using solar photovoltaic (PV) and wind technology for Eskom.

Established in 2008, the Mulilo Group is an independent renewable energy developer and strategic equity investor.

It focuses on wind and PV technologies and develops, builds, owns and operates large-scale renewable energy projects.

The Mulilo Group forms part of SA’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP) and Eskom is its sole customer.

The REIPPPP is a public-procurement programme that allows independent power producers to submit competitive bids to design, develop and operate large-scale renewable energy power plants across South Africa.

With high levels of sunshine and wind, combined with the wide availability of land, SA’s renewable energy sector believes the country is well-positioned to take advantage of renewables.

The South African government plans that some 6 000MW of new solar PV capacity and 14 400MW of new wind power capacity will be commissioned by 2030.

“REIPPPP has already established a flagship public-private partnership model for South Africa, and indeed the rest of Africa, and in the process is helping alleviate Eskom’s current power crisis while also reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” says the World Economic Forum, commenting on the programme.

Before referring the matter to the tribunal, the Competition Commission considered the effects of the proposed transaction on the national market for the supply of electricity to Eskom by renewable energy producers using solar PV, and the national market for the supply of electricity to Eskom by renewable energy producers using wind technology.

The commission, in its assessment, found the proposed transaction does not raise any public interest concerns.

In addition, it was of the view that the merger is unlikely to result in any substantial prevention or lessening of competition.

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