HomeSmart MoneyCoal miner Seriti purchases Windlab to switch to renewable energy

Coal miner Seriti purchases Windlab to switch to renewable energy

Seriti Resources has entered into an agreement to acquire a majority stake in Windlab Africa’s wind and solar-powered assets through its subsidiary Seriti Green, as it seeks to lower its carbon footprint and ensure long-term sustainability as a diversified energy producer.

This is a significant step in the development of Seriti Green, which was announced in November 2021. Windlab Africa consists of 100% of Windlab South Africa and 75% of Windlab East Africa.

Mike Teke, Seriti CEO said: “The acquisition is a timely and strategic addition to our existing and valuable portfolio of coal assets. Our commitment to the responsible and reliable production of coal for both domestic consumption and exports remains unwavering.” 

As a responsible coal producer, Seriti is conscious of the impact that fossil fuels have on the environment and is committed to playing an active role in helping manage the just transition to a low-carbon economy while balancing South Africa’s energy needs.

There is a growing need for stable power supply around the world, alongside a global shift to decarbonise and reduce reliance on fossil fuels. We are aware of the challenges currently facing Eskom, and as a result the country as a whole. The need for an energy supply that meets current and future needs, along with the obligation to move towards a managed transition to renewable energy sources, means this acquisition is especially timely.

The introduction of renewable energy into Seriti’s existing portfolio of high-quality coal assets will provide long-term financial stability and diversification whilst embracing alternative energy sources and helping to secure the country’s power needs.

“This acquisition is a significant landmark on Seriti’s journey to becoming a diversified energy business and supports our ESG objectives and commitment to a just energy transition,” said Mike Teke, CEO of Seriti.

Seriti uses 750 GWh of electricity in the process of mining the coal that is used to fuel power stations. In line with the commitments made in the MOU signed in October 2021 with Eskom and Exxaro, Seriti will start using renewable wind and solar energy in its own facilities through the signing of PPA’s in 2023.

“We need to be moving towards a lower carbon future through investing capital from coal into green energy. It is not only the right thing to do, but it makes business and societal sense,” said Teke.

Seriti is proud to be partnering with Standard Bank, RMB, Ntiso Investment Holdings and Peter Venn. Seriti is confident in the strength of Windlab Africa’s experienced management team, led by Peter Venn, who will continue to develop and grow the business.  The entry of Seriti and its partners into the renewables sector signals a clear shift – a proudly black-owned, South African company making a meaningful contribution to a reduced carbon footprint and just transition.

“Since commencing operation in Africa 14 years ago, Windlab’s aim has been to assist in the electrification of the region through the construction and operation of high-quality wind and solar renewable energy facilities. With African ownership and local capital, the business will now be able to accelerate the development of its significant pipeline to assist in alleviating the electricity shortages on the African continent,” said Windlab CEO John Martin.

“Standard Bank is proud to be an equity partner, funder and sole adviser to Seriti in delivering on its integrated energy strategy through the acquisition of Windlab – a renewable energy company with an established track record. We believe that the complementary skills of the management teams will provide a timely acceleration to deliver a diversified and more reliable energy supply for South Africa,” said Mark Buncombe, Head Mining and Metals.

Head of Infrastructure Equity Finance and Investments at RMB, Kwabena Malgas, commented: “An exciting opportunity to partner with Seriti, a key client and long-term partner of RMB. Seriti has always been at the forefront of solutioning for South Africa’s energy crisis. The acquisition of the Windlab Africa platform is complementary to their business and will ensure that they continue to reduce the country’s energy deficit through various renewable sources”

Transaction details

The transaction, with a total purchase price of R892 million (USD 55 million), will see Seriti acquire a 51% controlling interest in Windlab Africa – with RMB (14.5%), Standard Bank (14.5%) and two individual partners, Mr Peter Venn (15%) and Ntiso Investment Holdings (5%) collectively taking up the remaining stake.

Windlab, as acquired by Seriti, is currently overseeing 3.5 GWs of renewable energy projects at different stages of development in South Africa and east Africa and will continue to be managed by current Managing Director Peter Venn and the Windlab Africa team.

This acquisition gives Seriti access to a portfolio of existing world-class renewable assets with a high return rate, a promising project pipeline and a highly experienced management team.

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