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Tata Power eyes African market with Exxaro JV

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Taking the first step in making a global imprint, on Monday formed a joint venture with a South African mining company, Exxaro. The 50:50 joint venture will be called Cennergi (Pty) and will look for electricity generating opportunities across South Africa, Botswana and Namibia. South Africa-based Cennergi will focus on the investigation of feasibility, development, ownership, operation, maintenance, acquisition and management of power generation projects.

The JV would initially concentrate on renewable energy projects in wind and solar. But going ahead, it would graduate to other sources like coal.

The Johannesberg-listed is the second-largest coal producer in South Africa, with capacity of 45 million tonne per annum. It also has interests in mineral sands, base metals and industrial minerals, and has operations across Namibia, Australia and China.

Cennergi will be officially launched with effect from April 2012. “Cennergi aims to be the leading cleaner energy independent power producer (IPP) in Southern Africa, serving an expanding energy market. Through Cennergi, we will be powering progress in the areas in which we operate. Partnership with Tata Power will add skills and capabilities necessary to create a world class energy company in this region with enormous growth opportunities,” said Sipho Nkosi, the chief executive officer of Exxaro.

Tata Power already has various interests in international renewable energy projects. It formed a joint venture with Norway-based S N Power. The consortium is already working on two projects. One is the 236 Mw Dugar Hydro Electric Project in Himachal Pradesh and an 880 Mw Tamakoshi 3 Project in Nepal. Tata Power also has 10 per cent stake in geothermal energy company, Geodynamics of Australia. It has always talked about a 20-25 per cent contribution by renewable energy to its total portfolio, in the long-term.

Anil Sardana, the managing director of Tata Power said South Africa is a high potential region, and that they would pursue new avenues in the international space by partnering with local entities. “The joint venture is consistent with our strategy of pursuing growth opportunities for energy development in potential markets. We look forward to working together with Exxaro to jointly develop efficient, high-quality and sustainable projects,” he said.

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