The 31 MW Soutpan Solar Power plant in Limpopo Province, recently underwent a $71 million senior debt restructuring, according to Globeleq, Africa’s largest independent power company. It is one of the first solar power facilities built under South Africa’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme.
The refinancing reduces the project’s cost of debt. This allows a significant decrease in the plant’s wholesale electricity prices. It also creates a more efficient capital structure enabling shareholders to release funds for more investment in the power sector. Additionally, it speeds up the distribution of equity to Soutpan’s community and BEE shareholders.
Who holds the lion’s share of the Soutpan Solar Power plant?
In 2019, Globeleq acquired the majority of the plant’s interests from Soutpan. The plant begun operations in 2014. Ever since, Globeleq has overseen all aspects of the plant’s operations and maintenance. It has also put a plan in place to improve performance, efficiency, and safety.
According to Mike Scholey, CEO of Globeleq, the successful Soutpan restructure is an important transaction that would save Eskom more than ZAR 160 million over the remaining 10 years of the agreement.
He said that this is the fourth renewable initiative that Globeleq has restructured. It has been restructured under the IPP Office Refinancing Protocol of the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy. As a result, it demonstrates their commitment to supporting programmes that benefit energy customers. They also look to promote investment while load shedding continues.
Alastair Campbell, MD of Vantage GreenX, stated that Vantage GreenX has been providing funds to the Soutpan project since 2013. He claimed that it is delighted to have had a key role in the development of the sustainable energy market in South Africa.
A market that has matured and is in a great position to contribute significantly to attempts to address South Africa’s ongoing energy crisis is indicated by the restructuring of the financing for this project.