The first biomass project to be concluded under South Africa’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP), the Ngodwana Energy Biomass Project reached financial close in April 2018. Baker McKenzie’s energy and finance team in Johannesburg advised on the 25 MW biomass to power project, which will be fuelled using waste wood chips from Sappi’s plantations and its Ngodwana Mill. The project was one of the 27 power purchase agreements (PPAs) under rounds 3.5 and 4 of the REIPPPP, signed by South African Energy Minister Jeff Radebe earlier this year.
Jen Stolp, Partner in the Banking and Finance Practice at Baker McKenzie in Johannesburg said, “Heartfelt congratulations to Sappi and Fusion Energy, sponsors of the Ngodwana Energy Biomass Project, and Nedbank and Absa, the lenders to the project. We are thrilled to have acted as lender counsel on the first biomass project to reach financial close under the REIPPPP, and the first REIPPPP project in Mpumalanga, which will bring much needed job creation and social upliftment to the region.”
“After a long period of uncertainty, the signing of Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) and Implementation Agreements for the latest round of renewables is a very positive step for all South Africans, and for renewing investor confidence in the country,” she noted.