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Norwegian Renewable Company Buys Majority Stake in African Green Ventures

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Norwegian renewable energy firm Magnora ASA has announced the acquisition of a 92% stake in African Green Ventures (AGV), a South African renewable project developer that operates large-scale solar photovoltaic and onshore wind assets.

Through this acquisition, Magnora’s South African portfolio will increase more than 800 MW of solar PV and wind capacity, subsequently adding to its current portfolio of 850 MW. The remaining 8% of shares will be owned by AGV’s management. At the same time, Magnora is selling all its shares in Vindr AS to its parent company.

The acquisition of AGV’s share brings the installed capacity of Magnora to nearly 1.7 GW. Magnora assumed the project rights after AGV signed a number of land lease option agreements. The renewable energy developer has already earned a significant reputation for participating in the energy transition strategy that South Africa has been implementing for nearly a decade. 

According to Erik Sneve, CEO of Magnora, the company sees great opportunities in South Africa, both in the short and long term, as electricity consumption is expected to increase due to green electrification and economic development. AGV’s approach to finding interesting renewable energy projects is complementary to Magnora’s methods and capabilities.

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Magnora is investing in the South African market by the acceleration of the energy transition. The country, which relies on coal for 80% of its electricity production, is counting on private investors to increase the share of renewable energy in its electricity mix.

AGV is targeting a portfolio of more than 2 GW of renewable energy in South Africa, as the Integrated Resource Plan of the government, launched in 2019, anticipates the installation of 14.4 GW of onshore wind and 6 GW of solar photovoltaic by 2030. These targets could be increased further to replace 10 GW of coal power plants which would be decommissioned in 2030 and 35 GW by 2050.

The South African government is successfully implementing the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPP) to achieve this policy, with the objective of attracting investment from independent power producers. According to USAID, the initiative which is in its fifth phase has already enabled the country to develop an estimated 4.6 GW of new renewable energy capacity.

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