AIIM backs Joule Africa

The Macquarie-Old Mutual joint venture will have access to projects being developed by the energy company, which include a 202MW hydro plant in Sierra Leone and a 100MW solar farm in Cameroon.

Cape Town-based African Infrastructure Investment Managers (AIIM) has entered into a framework with developer Joule Africa that will provide the fund manager with the opportunity to invest equity in assets being built by the renewables company.

They include the 202-megawatt (MW) Bumbuna II hydro-electric project in Sierra Leone, which is being developed in partnership with the US’ Endeavor Energy, a platform set up by London-based private equity firm Denham Capital.

Joule Africa’s portfolio also comprises the Kpep hydro-electric project in Cameroon, on which it is teaming up with the government and local developer Bethel Industrievertretung, and a 100MW solar farm, under a Memorandum of Understanding signed last year with Cameroon’s Minister of Energy.

AIIM is currently deploying its African Infrastructure Investment Fund II (AIIF2), a $500 million vehicle it closed in 2011. Launched in 2000 as a joint venture between Australia’s Macquarie Group and the investment arm of South African insurer Old Mutual, the firm currently manages $1.2 billion across five funds.

Today’s announcement follows AIIF2’s investments in several African landmark power projects, including the 400MW, gas-fired Kpone Independent Power Project (IPP) in Ghana. Expected to account for about 10 percent of the country’s installed capacity, it is 30 percent-owned by the fund and co-investors.

AIIF2 is also a lead financial investor in the consortium currently developing the Azura IPP, Kenya’s first limited recourse power project.