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French companies Engie and Meridiam have reached an agreement with Actis to acquire South Africa-based renewable energy developer BTE Renewables at an enterprise value of $1bn.

Actis set up the renewables platform in 2017 after it acquired the Kipeto wind project in Kenya in its development stage.

In 2019, it expanded the platform with the purchase of BioTherm Energy, a South Africa-focused company, and rebranded it as BTE Renewables.

BTE aims to develop utility-scale solar and wind projects across the African continent.

The company has a portfolio of six operating projects totalling nearly 500MW, five in South Africa and one in Kenya.

The transaction involves a transfer of the Kenyan assets from Engie to Meridiam upon completion in the fourth quarter of 2023.

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By GlobalData

With BTE’s acquisition, Engie will benefit from an additional 340MW net of renewable operating assets in South Africa. These include 150MW in wind and 190MW in solar.

The acquisition also includes a portfolio of more than 3GW in advanced development pipelines and projects, and a workforce of 80 professionals.

Approval is awaited from the competition authorities.

Engie renewables, energy management and nuclear senior executive vice-president Paulo Almirante stated: “The acquisition of BTE is bringing to ENGIE high-quality wind and solar assets and a strong project pipeline. We are looking forward to welcoming the BTE team within the group.

“The integration of BTE will also contribute to South Africa’s ambitious energy plan and renewable targets. With this integration, ENGIE is pursuing its development outside Europe and the Americas.”

Meridiam will acquire two wind farms: the 100MW Kipeto project and the 50MW Siruai wind farm with storage under development.

Kipeto has been operational since July 2021 and is located 70km south of Nairobi.

Meridiam partner and deputy CEO Mathieu Peller stated: “This transaction reinforces our footprint both in Kenya and more globally in Africa, where we have invested more than €5bn to date.

“Kipeto, our first wind farm asset on the continent, will greatly complement our existing renewable portfolio, which already comprises solar, hydro, biomass and geothermal assets. Taking also into account the pipeline assets, this project will double our total renewable generation capacity in Africa and bring it to over 500MW.”