Actis Plans to Double Africa Energy Investments to $2 Billion

Actis LLP, a London-based private equity firm focused on emerging markets, plans to finalize deals on six African power projects in 2021 as it looks to double its energy-related investments on the continent within the next five years.

The investments this year would total between $200 million to $300 million, Lisa Pinsley, head of Africa energy infrastructure at Actis, said in an interview. The firm is planning to double investments to $2 billion in countries including Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya, Egypt, Ivory Coast and Ghana, with a focus on wind, solar and gas energy resources, she said.

Actis is bolstering its focus on the world’s most power-starved continent, which has an electricity-access rate of just over 40%, according to the African Development Bank. Many African countries, including South Africa -- the most industrialized -- have long had their economic potential curtailed by chronic power shortfalls, consistent blackouts and decades of underinvestment in the sector.

The private equity firm, which was spun out of CDC Group, the U.K. government’s development-finance institution, manages about $10 billion globally.

Actis has holdings in about 25 power projects in countries across the continent. Earlier this month, one of the companies it has invested in, BioTherm Energy Pty Ltd., announced the completion of four renewable power projects in South Africa, which is expected to add 284 megawatts of electricity to the country’s grid.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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