Infinity Power acquires Lekela Power in Africa's biggest renewable energy deal

Established in 2020 as a joint venture between Egypt’s Infinity and UAE’s Masdar, Infinity Power aims to develop solar and wind projects across Africa

Wind turbines outside Caledon, South Africa. Infinity Power aims to improve energy access across Africa, particularly in remote areas. Reuters
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Infinity Power, a joint venture between Egypt’s Infinity and UAE’s clean energy company Masdar, has completed the acquisition of the entire shareholding of Africa’s wind power platform Lekela Power.

The transaction, which was initially announced in July, makes Infinity Power the largest renewable energy company in Africa, Masdar said in a statement on Monday.

The value of the deal was not disclosed.

Infinity’s key stakeholders include the Africa Finance Corporation and European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

Lekela’s portfolio includes 1 gigawatt of operational wind power projects in South Africa, Egypt and Senegal, and a 1.8-gigawatt pipeline of projects in various stages of development across the continent.

“This acquisition will give Infinity Power greater scale to deploy practical climate solutions that deliver measurable outcomes, in line with the Cop28 objective of being inclusive, transparent, pragmatic and results-oriented,” said Dr Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, Cop28 President-designate and chairman of Masdar.

“Through our investment in Infinity Power, Masdar is able to extend its reach across Africa and support developing nations on their clean energy transitions.”

Dr Sultan Al Jaber says this is the decade to provide clean energy the world needs

Dr Sultan Al Jaber says this is the decade to provide clean energy the world needs
Dr Sultan Al Jaber says this is the decade to provide clean energy the world needs

Infinity Power was established in 2020 to develop utility-scale solar and wind power projects in Egypt and throughout the continent.

By developing renewable projects in Africa, Infinity Power aims to improve energy access while boosting economic development and creating much-needed jobs, particularly in remote areas.

The combined operational portfolio of Infinity Power now stands at 1.3 gigawatts with a strong pipeline of 13.8 gigawatts.

Africa’s installed renewable energy capacity is set to grow from about 54 gigawatts in 2020 to more than 530 gigawatts by 2040, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency. Solar photovoltaic technology will rise to 340 gigawatts and wind to 90 gigawatts.

In addition to combating climate change, increasing renewable energy resources will help to drive energy access in the continent, as almost half of Africa’s population has no access to electricity.

“Having successfully finalised the Lekela acquisition, we will build upon this milestone to reach our target of installing and operating 2 gigawatts of greenfield projects by 2025,” said Mohamed Mansour, chairman of Infinity Power.

“With this transaction, we have delivered on the promise made during Cop27 of being the fastest-growing renewable energy company in Africa.

“We continue to drive efforts that reduce carbon emissions, increase renewable energy sources, and develop efficient energy solutions for the entire region, in order to achieve our vision of providing clean, reliable and affordable electricity access to people in underserved communities across Africa.”

Lekela, founded in 2015, is Africa’s largest independent power producer. It was previously owned 60 per cent by British private equity company Actis and 40 per cent by global wind and solar company Mainstream Renewable Power.

Its platform includes five operational wind farms in South Africa with a capacity of 624 megawatts, a 252MW wind farm in Egypt and a 159MW wind farm in Senegal, as well as development opportunities in Egypt, Ghana and Senegal.

“We can already see that the backing of Lekela’s new investors, Infinity Power, will make our next chapter an exciting one,” Lekela chief executive Chris Antonopoulos said. "We remain committed to delivering clean, reliable power for communities and countries across Africa."

Working along with Actis and the Mainstream-led consortium over the past eight years, “we grew Lekela from zero to over 1 gigawatt of wind power in operation and proved renewable energy has the potential to contribute to Africa’s sustainable future”, he added.

The transaction was funded through equity investment from shareholders and debt from Absa Corporate and Investment Banking (Absa CIB) and Mauritian Commercial Bank (MCB), according to the statement.

Cantor Fitzgerald, Absa CIB, Norton Rose Fulbright, Al Kamel Law, Ernst & Young and AFRY advised Infinity Power on the transaction. Absa CIB and MCB acted as the Mandated Lead Arrangers on the acquisition financing facilities.

Updated: March 20, 2023, 9:51 AM

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