AIIF2 fund sells its stake in South African renewable energy projects

SOUTH AFRICA – African Infrastructure Investment Managers (AIIM), infrastructure-focused private equity fund managers, has sold its Africa infrastructure fund’s interests in South African renewable energy projects. 

AIIM said the African Infrastructure Investment Fund 2 (AIIF2) fund has sold its 14% stake in the 139MW Cookhouse wind farm, and its 34% stake in the 75MW REISA solar facility to co-shareholder IDEAS Managed Fund, a South Africa focused fund managed by AIIM. 

“The exits mark a long involvement in these projects for AIIM, starting at the inception of the renewables market in South Africa,” said Paul Frankish, investment director at AIIM. 

“Through its holding period, the AIIM team led the project through a challenging construction period, oversaw the renegotiation of operation and maintenance agreements and established community trust and operations structures which have been used as a blueprint for the industry and resulted in long term investment in the projects’ host communities.” 

“This deal aligns well with our strategy of investing in infrastructure projects that are vital for economic growth, produce tangible social and environmental benefits, and are capable of delivering strong long-term returns to investors,” Vuyo Ntoi, investment director and IDEAS portfolio manager, said. 

“We’re very much looking forward to continuing the great work of our AIIM colleagues in supporting Cookhouse and REISA in providing the country with clean, renewable energy.” 

Based in South Africa’s Eastern and Northern Cape respectively, Cookhouse and REISA reached financial close in 2012 as part of the round one bidding window of South Africa’s Renewable Energy IPP Procurement (REIPPP) programme, which has gone on to raise in excess of US$10.6bn of private funding for South Africa’s renewable generation capacity.  

These were the largest wind and solar PV projects completed in the first bidding round and, until last year, Cookhouse was the largest operational windfarm in sub-Saharan Africa. 

Since commencing operations in 2014, Cookhouse has generated an average of 327GwH of clean power per year – saving 315k tCO2e and providing enough electricity to power 104,000 households. REISA has generated an average of 181GwH of clean power per year over the last five years of operations – saving 179k tCO2e and providing enough electricity to power 57,000 households. 

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