Shanduka Group Ltd., the investment company led by Cyril Ramaphosa, may bid to build more renewable-energy plants in South Africa after completing plans for a 1.5 billion-rand ($167 million) wind-power project.
“We reached financial close on Nov. 15,” Nandkishor Moharir, managing director of energy and infrastructure at Johannesburg-based Shanduka, said by phone yesterday. “Construction should begin pretty soon.” The 74-megawatt plant could start generating power from July 2014, he said.
South Africa is calling for bids to build wind, solar and other renewable-energy plants as it seeks to reduce the portion of electricity that coal-based operations generate. The government will buy power from the plants built by Tata Power Co., Suzlon Energy Ltd. and other successful bidders.
Standard Bank Group Ltd., Africa’s biggest lender, provided 1.1 billion rand in debt financing to the Noblesfontein wind-power plant near Victoria West in the Karoo region. Gestamp Corp. owns 60 percent of the project while Shanduka owns 25 percent, it said in an e-mailed statement.
Shanduka may submit bids for two or three projects with a combined capacity of about 140 megawatts in South Africa’s third bidding round opening next year, Moharir said. It may also announce projects elsewhere in sub-Saharan Africa early next year, he said, declining to give further details.
“We’re a heavily resource-biased company, so we’re trying to achieve a balance between our portfolios” by investing in renewable-energy plants, he said. Shanduka has coal, steel, platinum and diamonds investments in South Africa. It also owns 70 percent of McDonald’s Corp. franchises in the continent’s biggest economy.
Iberdrola SA and Group Five Ltd. will build the Karoo wind plant while Vestas Wind Systems A/S will supply the turbines, Moharir said.
The project is among 28 approved by the government after a first round of bidding. They’ll add 1,416 megawatts and have a combined cost of about 47 billion rand. Financial arrangements for projects in the second bidding round should be concluded in March and the third round will open on May 7, the Department of Energy said on its website.