Eskom’s biggest coal supplier buys Tata’s clean power stake

Image by Cennergi Pty Ltd.

Exxaro Resources Ltd., the biggest coal supplier to South Africa’s state-owned power utility, bought Tata Power Co Ltd.’s half of a clean energy joint venture as part of a strategy to make its business environmentally sustainable.

Exxaro will own Cennergi Pty Ltd. outright after the 1.55 billion rand ($105 million) deal is concluded, the company said Tuesday in a statement. Assets include two wind farms, which sell renewable power to the South African government in a program started in 2011.

The agreement demonstrates a strategy, by a business founded on coal mining, to make structural changes in response to public concern about the impact of climate change.

While Exxaro anticipates strong demand from power utility Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd., the company is restructuring its business in rersponse to the rising cost of carbon emissions.

“Exxaro is pleased with this opportunity to consolidate its interest in this renewable energy asset at a time in South Africa where we need energy security as we respond to increasing negative sentiment toward coal-based electricity generation,” Chief Executive Officer Mxolisi Mgojo said in the statement.

(By Paul Burkhardt)

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