French developer expands into Africa with Nova Power acquisition

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French renewable energy developer Global EcoPower (GEP) has expanded overseas with the acquisition of Morocco-based Nova Power.

GEP will acquire 100% of Nova Energy in what it described as almost an all-share deal. The first portion of payment is capped at a value of €13.5 million (US$15.3 million) with the second payment dependent on the performance of Nova Power.

The deal will give GEP access to overseas markets with Nova active in West and North Africa as well as the Middle East.

Nova has a 500MW deal in place with Total to develop and build solar power plants in Nigeria. Work on the first 125MW plant is expected to begin before the end of this year with 125MW and 150MW plants following in 2016.

In January, GEP took a 50% stake in Spanish mounting manufacturer and contractor, Enersol.

Nova also has a number of project agreements in Morocco and is pre-qualified for a 20MW plant in Ivory Coast.

Mohammed Habbal, president, CEO and co-founder of Nova Power will join the board of GEP.

“The collaboration proven in the past with the current management of GEP allows us to look to the future with confidence and optimism,” said Habbal. “The new Group, composed of GEP, Enersol and of Nova Power, which brings its strong growth potential, has all the ingredients to enable it to realise the opportunities thus generated.”

“We see daily the challenges the production of electricity represents, especially in terms of governance,” said Jean-Marie Santander, president and CEO, GEP. “Now the ‘green growth’ demonstrates that renewable energies are essential in the energy policies of the states and major energy companies. In Africa, only the Maghreb countries or East Africa can count on the wind power, while other countries need to rely on solar power.”

The opportunities for solar in both East and West Africa will be under discussion at two events to be hosted later this year by PV Tech's publisher, Solar Media. Solar & Off-Grid Renewables West Africa will be held in Accra, Ghana, on 21-22 April, while Solar Energy East Africa will take place in Nairobi, Kenya, on 10-11 March.

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