South Africans frustrated by load shedding will be happy to hear that the legal experts at CMS are doing all they can to ensure the energy crisis in the country becomes a thing of the past.
The foremost law firm helped bring to financial close two private solar energy deals that will pave the way for a more reliable supply of electricity. The deal comes on the back of the new energy regulatory environment that lifted the licence limit for electricity distribution generation.
Bridgett Majola, together with her dynamic team in the Banking and Finance Department at CMS, advised the Development Bank of South Africa, as an equity player, to secure two independent power-producing projects, the first of their kind in South Africa.
Majola told Tom that this was a significant move in that it allowed for private individuals to build their own power supply. Mining companies of different commodities have shown interest as well, she said.
“There are lots of people trying to take advantage of the fact that there’s an opportunity for them to take control of their own power supply.” Development Finance Institutions (DFIs) are among those who are seizing the opportunities.
Majola said financing for the power plants was quite competitive and DFIs were participating more formally rather than just providing significant funding. “They have set structures and different funds within their own divisions to be responsible for the implementation of either focusing on the infrastructure or scaling it up.”
She added that DFIs were also looking into other jurisdictions such as Zambia, Ghana, Nigeria and Mozambique. “I think they’re always looking at opportunities to support different countries in different ways, whether it’s from an infrastructure perspective or from a power generation, transmission or distribution perspective.”
Shifting the conversation towards the project financing landscape, Majola said there was a lot of involvement at fund level, with commercial banks also added to the mix when it came to infrastructure development.
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