BB Energy targets Africa solar, storage markets with Solarcentury Africa deal

The Changoi solar project, completed by Solarcentury Africa. Image: Solarcentury.

Independent energy trader BB Energy (BBE) has set its sights on Africa’s solar and storage market by acquiring Solarcentury’s Africa-facing division for an undisclosed sum.

The deal, revealed by Solarcentury last week, will see BBE’s Renewables Division gain access to Solarcentury Africa’s 2.1GW-strong pipeline of solar and energy storage projects, which the company said were all backed by strong regional and international commercial and industrial (C&I) customers.

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BBE historically has focused on oil and natural gas trading, but launched a Renewables Division last year which it has looked to grow via M&A activity.

Mohamed Bassante, chief executive at BB Energy, said the company had an ambition to “remain a leader in the industry while supplying more green energy to our planet” in line with its group targets.

Meanwhile Chahid Jarmouni, global head of renewables at BB Energy, described the Solarcentury Africa deal as a “major step” in the company’s “energy transition journey”.

“Solarcentury Africa will indeed offer a full set of in-house technical expertise and experience in the fast-growing Solar & Battery industry, together with a mix of live and near-term developments. More importantly, by targeting large C&Is (mining, upstream, heavy industry) in Africa, SCA value proposal perfectly complements our group’s energy offer in the continent,” he added.

The main business unit of Solarcentury was acquired by Norwegian renewables giant Statkraft late last year in a deal worth almost £120 million (US$161 million). That purchase gave Statkraft access to a 6GW solar pipeline which spanned numerous markets, while Solarcentury’s in-house expertise would help it “step up” Statkraft’s own renewables ambitions, the company said at the time.

Jason de Carteret, director at Solarcentury Africa, described his company and BB Energy as an “excellent match”, while Solarcentury director Frans van den Heuvel said the deal would allow his company to focus on its core markets.

Solarcentury Africa will retain its original brand identity for a transitional period, Solarcentury said.

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