Danish investor buys South African renewables developer

Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners acquired a controlling stake in Mulilo Energy Holdings, the Danish power investor’s first deal in South Africa, the companies said in a statement on Thursday.

CIP is working with financial advisers to take a share in the South African renewable-energy developer, Bloomberg reported earlier.

The investment firm has raised 19 billion euros ($20 billion) for energy and associated infrastructure projects to date, according to the statement.

“With CIP taking a majority equity position at Mulilo, it gives our company the necessary tools and financial backing to make an impact in the renewable energy landscape in Southern Africa,” Mulilo co-founder and chairman Christopher Aberdein said in the statement.

Africa’s most industrialized economy is targeting large-scale renewable energy programs to bring more electricity onstream in a country that has been struggling with rolling power blackouts.

A significant number of South Africa’s unreliable coal-fired plants are being retired, requiring 53 gigawatts of clean energy capacity by 2032, according to Eskom, the utility that generates more than 90% of the nation’s power.

That’s opened up opportunities for international firms looking to expand into the renewable-energy industry in the country and elsewhere in Africa, said the people.

CIP has invested in large-scale projects in key markets worldwide, including the US, UK, and Germany, according to its website.

Cape Town-based Mulilo mainly develops solar and wind plants in South Africa, and more recently partnered with TotalEnergies SE on hybrid facilities.

“The combination of Mulilo and CIP will make a meaningful positive contribution to resolve the energy crisis in South Africa with cost-effective renewable energy,” said Robert Helms, a partner in CIP.

Mulilo holds an 8% market share in the South African renewable sector and has to date developed and successfully delivered 440 megawatts of operating projects, according to the statement.

The acquisition is subject to regulatory approval by the Competition Commission.


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