ALTEN gains positions in Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America
Friday, Mar 16, 2020
ALTEN Energías Renovables, specialists in the development, financing, construction and operation of photovoltaic solar plants, has launched in the Sub-Saharan and Latin American PV markets, through its subsidiaries ALTEN Africa and ALTEN América. It has completed financing for the construction of a 45 MWp plant in Namibia and began construction in August last year, of a 350 MWp PV plant in Mexico.

ALTEN Energías Renovables went international in 2013 and is currently completing financing on another 52 MWp in Kenya. It is also involved in a 120 MWp project in Nigeria with a PPA already signed with the biggest electricity wholesaler in the country, NBET Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trader. In addition, it has a strong pipeline of business, with over 800MW at various stages of development in Sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America.

The group has offices in the Netherlands, Spain, Kenya, Nigeria, Mexico and Namibia, and great expertise in the development, financing, construction and operation of PV solar plants in challenging environments through its subsidiaries ALTEN Africa and ALTEN América.

The projects that both subsidiaries have underway are co-financed by banking institutions of the first order: South Africa’s Standard Bank and Proparco, subsidiary of the French Development Agency (AFD), in the case of the Namibian plant being developed by ALTEN Africa. Between the two they have put up more than US$50m out of a total investment of US$70m.

In the case of ALTEN América, whose Solem power plant will need a US$335 million investment, the project will be financed with ALTEN América’s own funds   and those of Cubico Sustainable Investments; co-financing will be provided by the Mexican development banks  Bancomext and Banobras, the multilateral institutions Inter-American Investment Corporation (IIC) (member of the InterAmerican Development Bank) and IFC (member of the World Bank group) and by Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ.

Both subsidiaries have stepped up their activity, in recent months, with the entry into their shareholding bodies of new financial partners. These are the South African fund Inspired Evolución, whose Evolution II fund will initially invest USD36 million in ALTEN Africa to boost development of the independent power producer (IPP), in Sub-Saharan Africa. The new financial partner of ALTEN América is the Japanese group Sojitz Corporation. Together with Cubico Sustainable Investments they will finance the construction of the Mexican Solem plant, in the municipality of El Llano, in the state of Aguascalientes.

In March this year, ALTEN Africa completed financing of what will be the biggest photovoltaic solar power plant in Namibia and Sub-Saharan Africa (apart from South Africa), with installed capacity of 45.5 MWp for an output of 37 MWac, an investment forecast of US$70mn and a useful life of over 25 years. The plant was put out for tender by NamPower, the country’s state-owned electricity company, which also holds a 19% stake. The power produced by the new plant, which represents 8% of installed capacity, will meet 3% of the country’s energy needs.

The investment vehicle (ALTEN Hardap) is made up of ALTEN Africa has a majority stake (51%), the country’s electricity company NamPower (19%), together with a group of local investors: First Place, Mangrove and Talyeni (30%) – led by eight Namibian women. They are professionals and businesswomen, aged between 35 and 55, who have seen in this project an opportunity to acquire know-how and to invest in cutting-edge technologies that will drive forward their country’s economic growth.

The new PV plant will occupy a land area of 100 hectares and is located in the Hardap region, in the Mariental municipality, 230 km south of the capital, Windhoek. It will be one of the most productive in the world because of the location’s extremely high irradiation levels.  Once it starts commercial operations, scheduled for September 2018, around 112 GWh of clean electricity will be uploaded onto Namibia’s national grid, enough to meet the annual electricity needs of over 70,000 Namibians. The plant will also avoid the emission into the atmosphere of 33,000 metric tonnes of CO2 equivalent, each year of its operating life.

ALTEN América broke ground on construction of the Solem solar PV plant, to have installed capacity of 350 MWp, in the municipality of El Llano, in the state of Aguascalientes, last August. Construction is being executed by the Spanish company Grupo Ortiz and is expected to be completed by September 2018. The power plant, which will occupy more than 100 hectares of land, will supply the electricity needs of over 400,000 Mexicans and has been awarded purchasing contracts for power, energy and green energy certificates (GEC) with CFE Basic Supply in Mexico’s second long-term electricity tender, in September 2016 in Mexico.

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