South African pension fund invests in solar project

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South African pension fund invests in solar project

Soitec announced that the Department of Energy in South Africa has granted its final approval to a change in the financing structure of Soitec 44 MW solar project developed in Touwsrivier, enabling the South African Government Employee Pension Fund (GEPF) to come on board as a strong long term investor in the project.

In practice, Soitec has joined forces with Public Investment Corporation (PIC), which represents GEPF, through an equity financing structure. GEPF will ultimately, post the regulated holding period, hold a 40% stake in the project whilst Soitec will only be retaining a minority shareholding in the long term.

Thanks to this transaction, the Touwsrivier solar project is becoming truly local. Soitec will remain the only foreign stakeholder in the project through its contribution of solar equipment and minority shareholding.

Touwsrivier solar power plant has recently fulfilled milestones set for commissioning 22MWp, i.e. 50% of the total capacity. This confirms that the power plant performs in accordance with contractual specifications and validates the power purchase agreements applied to the 44MWp solar plant.

PIC’s Dr Daniel Matjila, Chief investment Officer stated:

We are excited by yet another investment in this sector as the PIC. This investment will contribute to the country’s much needed alternative energy needs thus contributing towards easing the current electricity pressures the country is experiencing as well ensure good returns for our client, the GEPF.

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