Engie wraps up 40% stake purchase in 100-MW CSP plant in S Africa

Xina Solar One CSP plant. Image source: Abengoa

November 18 (Renewables Now) - French utility Engie SA (EPA:ENGI) announced on Thursday that it has closed the acquisition of a 40% equity stake in the 100-MW Xina Solar One concentrated solar power (CSP) plant in South Africa from Spanish engineering group Abengoa SA.

Abengoa also sold a 46% interest in Xina Operations & Maintenance Company (Pty) Ltd, an entity that services the plant, in the same transaction.

Through this deal, Abengoa leaves its entire stake in Xina Solar One in the hands of Engie, but still keeps 46% in the Xina O&M company, according to an announcement made earlier this year.

The acquisition has made Engie the majority shareholder in the plant, whereas the remaining 60% is divided equally between South Africa-based development finance group Industrial Development Corp (IDC), pension fund and asset manager Public Investment Corporation (PIC) and the Xina Community Trust.

Located in Pofadder in the Northern Cape province, Xina Solar One is a parabolic trough plant capable of generating around 400 GWh per year and storing energy for five and a half hours in molten salts. The plant operates under a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with South African utility Eskom.

The acquisition has helped Engie raise its total installed capacity to 1,320 MW in South Africa. Besides Xina Solar One, its generation portfolio includes interests in the 100-MW Kathu CSP plant, the 94-MW Aurora wind farm, two solar PV farms totalling 21 MW and two thermal power peaking plants, the 670-MW Avon and the 335-MW Dedisa.

“The acquisition of Xina Solar One supports our 2045 net zero carbon ambitions by contributing to a global target of 50 GW of installed renewable capacity by 2025 and 80 GW by 2030”, Mohamed Hoosen, Engie managing director, renewables for Asia, Middle East & Africa, said in a statement.

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Sladjana has significant experience as a Spain-focused business news reporter and is now diving deeper into the global renewable energy industry. She is the person to seek if you need information about Latin American renewables and the Spanish market.

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