ENGIE and Meridiam to Acquire BTE Renewables from Actis

BTE has a solar and wind project development pipeline of ~5 GW across the pan-African region


Sustainable infrastructure investor Actis has agreed to sell the entirety of BTE Renewables (BTE) to France-based energy firm ENGIE and global investor and asset manager Meridiam. Upon completion of the transaction, ENGIE will acquire BTE’s South African renewable project portfolio and team, while Meridiam will take ownership of the Kenyan portfolio and team.

In 2017, Actis established a pan-African renewable energy platform by acquiring the Kipeto wind project in Kenya during its development phase. The platform expanded in 2019 with the acquisition of BioTherm Energy, a company focused on South Africa, which was subsequently rebranded as BTE.

BTE primarily focuses on utility-scale wind and solar projects across the pan-African region.

The platform consists of six operational projects, three solar (~218 MW) and three wind (~252 MW) power projects, with a total generating capacity of approximately 500 MW. Five of the projects –  three solar and two wind, are operating in South Africa, and one wind power project is in Kenya.

BTE currently boasts a pipeline of projects under development exceeding 5 GW throughout the region.

ENGIE’s acquisition of BTE will bring an additional 340 MW of renewable operating assets to the company, including 150 MW of onshore wind and 190 MW of solar photovoltaic.

The acquisition also includes a portfolio of over 3 GW of advanced development pipeline/projects in a growing renewables market. This move strengthens ENGIE’s presence in South Africa, where the company already operates 1.3 GW of assets, including over 300 MW of renewable capacity.

On the other hand, Meridiam has acquired the operational 100 MW Kipeto Wind Farm located south of Nairobi since July 2021.

Additionally, they are developing the 50 MW Siruai greenfield wind project with storage adjacent to the Kipeto site and are set to become Kenya’s first battery storage facility. Furthermore, Meridiam has identified opportunities for over 100 MW of additional solar PV projects.

The sale aligns with Actis’ track record of investing in and developing renewable power sectors worldwide. BTE stands as the second-largest diversified regional independent power producer of renewable energy in Africa.

Lisa Pinsley, Partner in the Energy Infrastructure team and Head of Middle East & Africa Energy at Actis, said, “When we established BTE, our intention was to help meet the growing demand for electricity in Africa. Through our investment and experience in doing this globally, we have grown and developed a leading power company with an outstanding team based on the continent and a promising pipeline of projects.”

The transaction follows Actis’ sale of Lekela, the African continent’s largest pure-play renewable energy Independent Power Producer (IPP), earlier in 2023.

Completion of the transaction is expected by Q4 2023, subject to the fulfillment of certain authorizations, including merger control clearance from relevant competition authorities.

Recently Actis launched Nozomi Energy, a new renewable energy platform, targeting 1.1 GW of onshore wind and solar power generation by 2027 in Japan with an investment of $500 million.

Last November, Actis-backed BluPine Energy acquired 404 MW of solar assets from Kolkata-based mining company Atha Group. Actis said the acquisition would enable BluPine to support India’s energy transition by targeting 4 GW of portfolio capacity over the next 4-5 years.