China, Japan Drive Africa Renewable Investment

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 percent 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 360-megawatt 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.

To contact the reporter on this story: Natalie Obiko Pearson in Mumbai at npearson7@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Reed Landberg at landberg@bloomberg.net

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