Revego Africa Energy Fund, an investor in South African renewable projects, is looking to raise as much as R1.5-billion by April with the industry poised to grow.
The fund is backed by Investec, the Eskom Pension & Provident Fund and UK Climate Investment and is seeking to list on the JSE, according to Revego Fund Managers chief investment officer Michael Meeser.
“We have already identified assets equal to that value and have actually signed purchase agreements,” he said.
The listing may come as South Africa starts to accept bids from independent energy producers to help ease the burden on state-owned utility Eskom, which struggles to meet the country’s electricity demand. The government is committed to buying an additional 11.8GW of power from various sources, President Cyril Ramaphosa reiterated this month.
The emergence of funds such as Revego indicates there is a market for realised renewable projects in South Africa, even after a state programme that was once the fastest-growing in the world stalled under former President Jacob Zuma. He was latterly more interested in a pursuit of nuclear power, though the strategy never got off the ground.
Revego plans to pay dividends and wants to see its assets generate enough income to fund expansion, according to Meeser. The company will target inflows from investors seeking to do business with black-owned firms in South Africa.
“Things are picking up” in the sector, Meeser said. If South Africa is able to commit to longer timelines and give detail on required capacity, it could give more visibility to international companies and boost local manufacturing, he said.
Revego wants to own a wide range of renewable projects to help reduce the fund’s risk. The company holds stakes in South African wind and solar power projects and is anticipating opportunities across sub-Saharan Africa, where nations such as Kenya and Tanzania are also investing in renewable energy programmes. — Reported by Roxanne Henderson and Paul Burkhardt, (c) 2021 Bloomberg LP