Nedbank, Norfund to lend Pele Green R2.5bn for renewable power plants

14th December 2023 By: Bloomberg

Nedbank, Norfund to lend Pele Green R2.5bn for renewable power plants

Photo by: Bloomberg

Pele Green Energy has secured R2.5-billion in funding from lenders including Nedbank Group to help it build renewable power plants including one ordered by Anglo American Platinum.

The other creditors include Norfund and the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), development finance institutions owned by the governments of Norway and South Africa respectively, said Gqi Raoleka, Pele’s MD. Nedbank will provide R1-billion, the IDC R829-million and Norfund R658-million.

The funding, 80% of which will be used for constructing new renewable energy plants, comes as the Johannesburg-based company pushes forward with plans to develop 2 000 MW of generation capacity.

“This facility is shoring up our capital base, although we already know that a second round or an equity raise has to follow in the next year or so,” Raoleka said.

The loan includes a preference share clause that will allow the lenders to benefit if Pele Green increases in value.

Pele and other renewable energy plant developers are capitalizing on a drive by companies in South Africa to source their own power as the state power utility, Eskom Holdings, subjects the nation to regular power cuts. The government this week issued a request for private companies to build 5 gigawatts of new solar and wind power-generation projects.

About 80% of the projects Pele plans to develop are for the private sector with the rest being through bids in government-run auctions to supply the national grid.

The 100 MW solar power plant it’s developing for Anglo Platinum is one of the first the company will complete for a private client.

“As we grow, we will take more majority ownership of projects,” said Matthew Wainwright, Pele’s CFO, in the same interview. Next year it plans to complete financial arrangements to build 200 MW of generation capacity for an international mining company, he said.

The company won the right to develop 150 MW of solar power in a government auction for supply to the national grid in November and plans to partake in further bidding round for solar, wind and battery storage plants.

“The plan is to own and operate five gigawatts of renewable energy projects by 2027,” said Raoleka.