Johannesburg-based company, Pele Green Energy, has obtained about R$2.5B (US$137M) in financing from various lenders (including Nedbank Group) to facilitate the construction of renewable energy plants, one of which has been commissioned by Anglo American Platinum.
Other contributors include development finance institutions, Norfund and the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), owned by the Norwegian and South African governments, respectively. As stated by Pele’s managing director, Gqi Raoleka, Nedbank will contribute R$1B (US$55M), the IDC will provide R$829M (US$45.5M), and Norfund will supply R$658M (US$36M).
Much of the funding, 80%, will be allocated towards the construction of new renewable energy plants. This comes as Pele Green Energy advances its plans to develop a generation capacity of 2,000MW.
Raoleka mentioned that this facility is bolstering their capital base, but are aware that a second round of funding, or an equity raise, will be necessary in the coming year.
The loan agreement includes a preference share clause, allowing the lenders to profit if Pele Green’s value increases.
Pele, along with other renewable energy plant developers, are seizing the opportunity presented by companies in South Africa seeking to generate their own power, as the state power utility, Eskom Holdings, regularly imposes power cuts on the country. The government recently called for private companies to construct 5GW of new solar and wind power-generation projects.
Pele intends to develop projects primarily for the private sector, accounting for over three-quarters of their plans, with the remainder coming from bids in government-run auctions to supply the national grid.
One of the first projects that the company will complete for a private client is a 100MW solar power plant being developed for Anglo Platinum.
Matthew Wainwright, Pele’s CFO, stated in the same interview that as the company grows, they plan to take majority ownership of more projects. Next year, the company will aim to finalize financial arrangements to build a 200 MW generation capacity for an international mining company.
In a government auction held in November, they secured the rights to develop 150MW of solar power for supply to the national grid and intends to participate in further bidding rounds for solar, wind, and battery storage plants.
Raoleka expressed that the company’s goal is to own and operate five gigawatts of renewable energy projects by 2027.