China and Japan Driving Renewable Investment in Africa
Chinese power companies and Japanese trading houses are emerging as major financiers of African renewable energy projects, which saw investment quadruple to $9.3 billion last year, Baker & McKenzie LLP said.
“Asian investors are increasingly targeting African renewable energy projects,” attracted by better returns and strong wind and solar resources on the continent, the Chicago-based law firm said in report today based on a global survey of 140 industry executives. Recent deals include the 20-billion-yen ($205 million) Dorper wind farm in South Africa that sold a 60% stake to Sumitomo Corp. (8053) and was partially debt financed by Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp., it said. The Export-Import Bank of China also provided $315 million of loans for a 360MW hydropower station in Zambia, according to the report.
Last year, Asia-Pacific companies and investors announced $6 billion of acquisitions of renewable energy assets outside of their region, compared with $1.9 billion in 2011, according to the report.