S Africa's Reatile invests in Juwi's renewables EPC unit

Solar farm. Author: Juwi Renewable Energies Limited.

June 7 (Renewables Now) - Reatile Renewables, the renewable energy arm of South African investment holding company Reatile Group, has bought a 20% stake in the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) unit of Germany’s Juwi.

This was announced on Wednesday along with a plan for Reatile to take up an equity stake in Juwi’s operation and maintenance (O&M) subsidiary as well.

Juwi Renewable Energies is the EPC contractor for three solar parks totalling 250 MW, awarded in Round 4 of South Africa’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPP) and currently under construction. Reatile is an investor in those projects and in three more.

The last projects awarded in South Africa's renewables programme faced significant delays, and in 2018 tariffs were renegotiated and new requirements were added. Greg Austin, managing director of Juwi, explained that one of the additional requirements for projects in Round 4 of the REIPPP was for the project companies to have an active black shareholding. This is also a requirement for the contractors.

“Juwi subsequently engaged with the lead equity on the three projects, Old Mutual, and we have given them the commitment that we will be at least 40% black owned and at least 50% of that ownership will be through an active black industrialist shareholder,” he said.

Reatile’s chairman Simphiwe Mehlomakulu commented that the group is interested in investing in power generating capacity in Africa, whilst diversifying its energy mix away from fossil fuel.

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