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Power

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Meet the team

We are one of the leading global legal practices engaged in the continuing development of the South and Southern African power sector, both from a generating and transmission point of view, having advised on transactions in the majority of African countries.

Through our recognised commitment to the region, we have established a substantial, loyal client base of international and national businesses and institutions. Our knowledge of both the legal structure and the socioeconomic context of the countries of the African continent, and African presence with offices in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban, Dar es Salaam and Casablanca, allows us to offer our clients a pragmatic approach.

Our experience in the power sector has been gained by advising on all aspects of the development of the electricity industry, its diversity reflecting the changes in the sector through privatisation, new models of regulation and financing, and increasing internationalisation.

We never underestimate the challenges that ‘country first’ projects present which is why our power team is highly skilled, experienced and knowledgeable at dealing with such innovative transactions.

We have extensive experience in advising sponsors, lenders, developers, bilateral and multilateral organisations and governments in Africa. We also advise on the regulatory changes which are being introduced in the energy sector of many African countries. Our services don’t stop when a power project has been built - our colleagues across the globe work with clients continually throughout the life of a project, providing advice on tax, employment, environmental and safety, disposals, trading, emergency response, dispute resolution and arbitration..

Our recent work

  • Advising the lenders to AES Kelvin Power (Pty) Ltd (the SPV for a 600MW coal-fired plant in Johannesburg), including review of the Sale and Purchase Agreement, and Power Purchase Agreement and negotiating amendments thereto on behalf of the lenders and drafting all necessary finance documents, including various direct agreements between CJMM and its municipal entities, City Power (Pty) Ltd and the funders.
  • Advised Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa Limited (IDC) as Lenders in relation to the financing and construction of a first of its kind 3MW Biogas power generating facility in Bronkhorstspruit. The transaction involved our finance and construction teams.
  • Represented BNP Paribas in relation to a carbon financing transaction concluded with Eskom.
  • Advising an IPP developer to acquire the rights to a proposed 600MW coal-fired power plant, and to assist in bringing the plant to commercial operation (off-takers already secured).
  • Advised the Department of Minerals and Energy on the proposed peaking power generation plants to be commissioned by one or more independent power producers at Port Elizabeth and near Durban by 2009 by means of a tender process. Advising on the tender process (including assisting preparing bidding documentation, preparation of RFP, etc), drafting and negotiating the Power Purchase Agreement and Implementation Agreement, etc. Ongoing instruction.
  • Advising IDC and Nedbank as financiers to the SPV to be established by the promoters of the project, Bateman.
  • Retained by one of the bidding consortia, bidding in respect of the Eskom Baseload Independent Power Generation Project to act as South African counsel to their lenders
  • Advised FMO (the Netherlands Development Finance Institution) as international legal counsel in connection with a warrant backed USD3,500,000 debt financing of a power transmission project, including in relation to drafting a maintenance fee agreement (supplementing the tariff regime) in conjunction with an existing connection agreement.
  • Advising Nedbank Capital in respect of the joint bid by China-Africa Development Fund and GD Power Development Co., Ltd. for the acquisition of the Khanyisa discarded coal-fired power station in Emalahleni, South Africa.
  • Advised AATC in relation to the duration and obligations in terms of certain of its coal supply agreements with Eskom, including in respect of Kriel, New Vaal and New Denmark.
  • Advising Absa Capital on a 300MW Circulating Fluidised Bed coal fired power plant in Mpumalanga.
  • Advising KFW as lender in relation to the South African law aspects of the loan facility made available to Eskom Holdings Ltd for the financing of a contract to supply 6 boilers to the Medupi Power Project by Hitachi Power Europe GmbH.
  • Acting as advisors to Standard Bank of South Africa Limited and the Development Bank of South Africa in their capacity as lenders to the KZN Development Fund in the restructuring of the project finance facilities advanced to the KZN Development Fund to invest in project finance transaction in KZN across infrastructure, telecoms and energy.
  • Advising the Zambian, Tanzanian and Kenyan governments on soliciting bids from private sector investors through various contract and tender documents and continue to advise on legal aspects of the proposed construction of the interconnection and the internal transmission reinforcements of a Zambia-Tanzania power transmission line and associated Arusha-Nairobi transmission line to provide capacity for export.
  • Advising the Government of Botswana in connection with the Mmamabula Energy Project for an international consortium to develop a coal mine and 1200 MW coal-fired power station and to construct new transmission facilities in order to export part of the generated electricity to South Africa.
  • Advising in relation to all project and project finance documents for the construction and development of an integrated 276MW open cycle gas turbine power plant and coal bed methane production facility in Botswana.
  • Advising the project sponsors on the initial documentation for a USD225 million transmission project, which would develop new electricity transmission lines to link four countries (Zimbabwe, Zambia, Botswana and Namibia).
  • Acting for ZPC (the state generating power company of Zimbabwe) as international legal counsel in connection with the development of the Hwange Thermal Power Expansion Project (600MW, coal) and the Kariba Hydro Power Extension Project (300MW).

Awards and accolades

  • Legal Adviser of the Year, Africa Investor Infrastructure Investment Awards, 2012