ResponsAbility teams up with Southern African hydropower project developer

A responsAbility-managed energy holding company has acquired a 26% interest in Renewable Energy Holdings (REH), the owner and operator of run-of-river hydropower projects in Southern Africa.

REH is the majority owner and operator of the 3 MW Sol Plaatje, the 4 MW Merino and the 4 MW Stortemelk hydropower plants, in South Africa.

In addition to its operating assets in South Africa, REH is also developing a 70 MW five-project portfolio of run-of-river hydropower plants in Zambia under contract with New Africa Power.

“REH has established itself in Southern Africa as a hydropower focused independent power producer and is actively expanding its development activities across the region. The investment by responsAbility in REH is a clear strategic fit between the two companies,” REH MD Anton-Louis Olivier commented in a statement issued on Thursday.

He added that there was huge potential for the development of sustainable hydropower projects in sub-Saharan Africa.

“The growing market share of intermittent renewables such as solar photovoltaic, combined with relatively weak transmission networks in many countries in the region, increases the need for a predictable and sustainable source of generation like hydropower in the generation mix.”

The partnership with responsAbility provides REH with a capital-strong partner that shares the company’s focus on the responsible development of sustainable hydropower.

Speaking on behalf of responsAbility, Energy Equity Investments co-head Joseph Nganga said the cooperation would allow the company to scale up its hydropower development activities at a higher pace, delivering attractive returns to its investors, while at the same time ensuring that it adds much-needed energy capacity on the continent and contributes to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, particularly in the area of climate action and creating essential infrastructure.

Norton Rose Fulbright, Werksmans Attorneys and Rand Merchant Bank advised on the transaction.