Actis LLP, a London-based private equity company and Mainstream Renewable Power Ltd. will develop $1.4 billion of wind and solar projects in Chile to help curb electricity shortages threatening the mining industry.
Actis agreed to invest $290 million for a 60 percent stake in developer Aela Energia, with the remaining shares held by Dublin-based Mainstream, Actis said today in a statement. The venture will build 600 megawatts of projects by 2016, boosting Chile’s renewable capacity by 3.6 percent and providing power for 131,000 homes.
Chile, the world’s biggest copper producer, needs to boost electricity supplies as power shortages jeopardize its $104 billion mine-project pipeline. Energy Minister Jorge Bunster said in April the nation will add 1,000 megawatts in 2013 as power use grows 5.5 percent to 6 percent a year and demand from mines jumps an estimated 68 percent in the coming decade.
“This platform is about meeting the needs of offtakers, particularly large-scale industrial consumers in Chile who need top-quality projects and competitive electricity prices,” Mainstream Chief Executive Officer Eddie O’Connor said in a separate statement.
Aela Energia will buy the projects developed by Mainstream once financing contracts for the plants are signed. Mainstream will manage construction and operations, it said.
Actis, with $5.2 billion of funds under management, has already financed the Cerro de Hula project in Honduras, the nation’s first wind farm. Mainstream is developing more than 3,500 megawatts of renewable-energy plants in Chile and has worked with Actis before on wind and solar in South Africa.
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