Denham invests $150m in South African energy

The energy and commodities-focused private equity firm aims to help address the South African energy crisis by backing BioTherm Energy, a South African company that specialises in turning waste to energy. The investment could help supply as many as 500,000 households with alternative energy.

BioTherm:
changing waste
to power

Denham Capital will invest R5 billion ($150 million, €118 million) in BioTherm Energy, a South African company specialising in renewable power generation.

“We are delighted with this substantial investment in a business that will generate more electricity in South Africa, contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gasses and create more jobs,” South Africa’s minister of minerals and energy, Buyelwa Sonijca, said in a statement.

For years South Africa has had cheap energy and an unfortunate result of this is inefficient usage.

Charles Liebenberg

Denham has committed enough capital for BioTherm to orchestrate projects in the region which would produce approximately 300-megawatts of electricity. This would mean an additional 500,000 households could be supplied with renewable energy.

BioTherm targets industries which release significant amounts of waste energy as heat or gas. BioTherm technology utilises this waste to produce electricity or steam, which can then be sold back to the host site or third parties.

“For years South Africa has had cheap energy and an unfortunate result of this is inefficient usage,” said Charles Liebenberg, BioTherm co-founder. 

Turning waste to energy may potentially help in redressing the balance of industrial energy output, an initiative the South African government has furthered with introduction of its Power Conservation Programme. The programme is forcing a mandatory reduction in energy consumption by industrial bodies, in bid to reach a national energy saving target of 10 percent. BioTherm is already working with Eskom, the South African public electricity utility.

Denham is an energy and commodities-focused private equity firm, with more than $4.3 billion of invested and committed capital. In October it invested $80 million into Plantation Energy, an Australian biofuel initiative and August saw an investment of $165 million into US oilfield service company Multi-Shot.