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Actis invests $290m in Chile’s largest wind and solar energy development

7 Jun 2013

Emerging markets private equity firm Actis has committed $290m for a 60 per cent stake in Aela Energía, a renewable energy development set to become Chile’s largest wind and solar energy provider.

Actis is investing alongside Mainstream Renewable Power, the global wind and solar developer, which will own 40 per cent of the asset. The total value of the project is $1.4bn including debt.

Aela Energía will increase the country’s renewable energy capacity by 3.6 per cent, providing enough clean energy to power more than 131,000 homes.

Since 2002 Actis has deployed in excess of $1bn in 25 energy transactions and has an track record of energy investments in Latin America, including the Cerro de Hula project, which is the largest wind farm in Central America. Actis also manages Energuate, Guatemala’s national electricity distribution company.

Actis’s experience in Latin America also includes investments in higher education, household goods and financial services.

With GDP growth running at around six per cent a year, Chile’s energy demands are increasing rapidly. The Chilean government continues to be “extremely supportive” of green energy developments which unlock the country’s formidable renewable resources, according to Paul Fletcher, senior partner at Actis.

“Chile is a country on the move, with a healthy, fast-growing economy and a clear vision of its future energy needs. We are delighted to support its push towards extending and diversifying its renewable energy footprint, and we have drawn on our deep understanding of both Latin America and the energy sector for this, our first investment in Chile. Mainstream is a trusted and experienced partner and together we can make this a great success.”

Mainstream Renewable Power chief executive Eddie O’ Connor added, “This is the ideal platform for Mainstream to accelerate the delivery of the first phase of our 3,500MW of wind and solar projects in Chile. Mainstream has a global pipeline of over 17,000MW of wind and solar projects globally and this project is something we may wish to replicate across our other markets. We are delighted to be working with such a highly experienced and forward thinking partner as Actis.”

Mainstream and Actis have already worked together, most recently in 2012, when they signed a commitment to develop three renewable energy assets in South Africa.

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