October 11, 2018 Read More →

Leading buyout group to back renewable energy development in Middle East, Africa

Financial Times ($):

Blackstone, the world’s largest buyout group, is launching a standalone company to invest “hundreds of millions of dollars” in renewable power assets in the Middle East and north Africa, said people familiar with the plans.

The new business, named Zarou after an ancient bridge built on the River Nile to connect Africa and Asia, aims to tap into rising electricity demand in the region by buying and developing renewable and thermal power generation.

The projects’ enterprise value, a measure that includes net debt, could be in the billions of dollars, the people familiar with the venture said. “There is plenty of appetite.” Zarou will also invest in oil and gas assets and water infrastructure.

Economic growth in the region combined with huge population increases has driven demand for electricity and new infrastructure to produce it. Countries in the Middle East and north Africa historically have been reliant on hydrocarbons to meet energy requirements — either by importing these fossil fuels or by using up domestic resources. But they are now increasingly looking to renewables.

More ($): Blackstone launches Africa-Middle East power venture

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