Tina Costas

Norton Rose Fulbright South Africa Inc

South Africa
T:+27 31 582 5663
South Africa
T:+27 31 582 5663
Tina Costas

Tina Costas



Tina is the head of the environmental department at Norton Rose Fulbright South Africa and an authoritative environmental lawyer with significant expertise in environmental compliance and regulatory matters, project development, disputes and due diligence investigations.  She is skilled in  environmental, planning, occupational health and safety law, energy (renewable, gas, coal) and climate change, project development and environmental coastal management and marine pollution. She has a wide ranging regulatory and transactional practice focusing on energy, mining related issues, liability and water rights.

Tina has extensive experience in investigating and assessing environmental impacts, liabilities and compliance in both national and international companies covering a wide scope of sectors including mining (gold, ferrochrome, platinum, and coal), water, chemical and energy, land, manufacturing and forestry.

She has acted for major industries in both contentious and non-contentious matters in South Africa.

She has specific experience in wetlands, water pollution, environmental impact assessments, environmental issues within the context of mining (water, waste, regulatory issues), air emissions, waste and contaminated land.

She has managed and conducted various audits (including environmental, environmental legal compliance, environmental due diligence and ISO 14001 audits) on companies within various sectors of the industry.

Tina currently forms part of the core team of the Norton Rose Fulbright Water Projects Group.


Professional experience

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  • BSc (Hons)
  • LLB
  • LLM (Environmental Law)
  • Lead auditor (ISO14001)
  • Postgraduate certificate in Corporate Law
  • Attorney, qualified in South Africa 2003
  • Sappi Southern Africa Limited and Ngodwana Energy (RF) Proprietary Limited 25MW - Biomass Project (2015 – 2018). We advised Sappi Southern Africa, a market leading pulp and paper Company with global operations, on the successful closing for the financing, construction and operations of a ZAR 2 billion, 25 MW biomass power plant, developed and held in the name of independent power producer, Ngodwana Energy. This pioneer project, one of only a limited number of biomass power plants to be developed under the REIPPP, will contribute significantly to the increased availability of local renewable energy, jobs and socio economic development.  Financial close was reached in April 2018 and the plant is currently under construction. The deal value in 2018 was approximately ZAR2,052,500,000 billion. We provided advice in respect of a range of environmental issues throughout the project specifically in relation to waste and air emissions and complex regulatory requirements relating to the existing Sappi plant and the new biomass project. This project won African Biomass Deal of the year at the IJ global awards 2019.

  • Norton Rose Fulbright South Africa Inc. (NRFSA) advised Enel through its subsidiary Enel Green Power RSA (EGP RSA) acted as borrower's legal counsel in the development, finance, construction and operation and maintenance of 5 wind projects awarded Preferred Bidder under Round 4 of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Programme (REIPPP) in South Africa. The portfolio totals approximately 700MW of capacity at an estimated value of approximately ZAR 14 billion (confidential) which was the winning Middle East and Africa: African Programme of Year – REIPPP 4 at the PFI Awards. We were involved in significant aspects of this project including working with Lenders to finalise outstanding environmental issues and provided advice on the Common Terms Agreement and the applicable Equator Principles and IFC standards.

  • We were appointed by Anglo Operations (Pty) Ltd to undertake a detailed analysis of a number of legacy sites (twenty). This included advising on regulatory environmental legal risk and liability in respect of closure of these sites, and reviewing and advising in respect of detailed technical reports. This matter was complex as it required us to review and consider documentation and the relevant legislation with respect of a number of sites which operated between 50 and 100 years ago.

  • We provided legal advice to Bosch Projects as a contribution towards a feasibility study into the establishment of a bioenergy eco-industrial park. The proposed area for development of the eco-industrial park was the Merafong City Local Municipality in the southwest of Gauteng, and was intended to take advantage of the opportunities presented through the concepts of a circular economy and economic clustering. The water issues were of particular concern, and we advised the client accordingly. Our contribution to the study included an assessment of the project's legal obligations and liabilities under national environmental legislation. This instruction dealt with the very important concepts of the circular economy and economic clustering and is a significant example of sustainability in project design and integrated development planning.

  • We assisted Renergen Limited to conclude a secondary listing on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX). Renergen is a South African company listed on the JSE's AltX exchange, owning and running South Africa's first and only producing onshore natural gas plan. The gas production licence is held through Renergen's subsidiary Tetra 4 (Proprietary) Limited. We conducted a due diligence investigation in respect of Renergen and Tetra4, their businesses and assets, for purposes of the preparation of a prospectus for the listing in Australia.

  • Conducting a legal due diligence on behalf of Revego Africa Energy Fund, a dedicated renewable energy private equity investment vehicle, established by Investec Bank Limited (Investec) and UK Climate Investments (UKCI) in respect of two solarvoltaic  projects situated in the Northern Cape.

  • Advising Panagea Investment Management Limited, an associate of the Chinese copper giant Jiangxi Copper, on a large and highly complex USD200 million platinum metals transaction with the Lonmin group, the third largest platinum producer globally. This was a landmark transaction in South Africa. As part of the negotiations and drafting of the Metal Purchase Agreement we were required to identify all significant environmental liabilities for the investors in respect of Lonmin plc and its South African subsidiaries. This project won African Mining and Metals Deal of the year at the IJ global awards 2019.

  • Assisted Scatec Solar ASA to reach financial close and beyond on three solar photovoltaic projects. The projects formed part of round 4 of the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement (REIPPP).  The projects, each with unique funding and shareholding structures, will involve the procurement, development, construction, operation and maintenance of Dyason's Klip 1, Dyason's Klip 2 and Sirius Solar PV Projects. Construction will take place on various project sites located in the Kai Garib Local Municipality, Northern Cape Province. We were involved in significant aspects of this project including working with Lenders to finalise outstanding environmental issues in respect of all three photovoltaic projects.

  • Advising an international consortium in relation to its proposed participation in the Gas to Power Project in South Africa.  We have provided preliminary advice and will continue to provide the consortium with environmental legal advice to enable it to respond effectively to the RFQ; to implement a competitive bidding process; and to assist in final pre-bid negotiations and preparation strategy.The Gas to Power programme is a firm focus in South Africa with the bidding phases expected to start between the fourth quarter of 2018 and the first quarter of 2019.  NRFSA is one of the few firms with extensive experience across the full Gas to Power value chain from gas procurement through to power products and sale.

  • Advising a local municipality on environmental and land use planning matters relating to its opposition of a coal mine within its jurisdiction, including the drafting of its appeal submissions against the award of the mine's environmental authorisation under the National Environmental Management Act, 1998.

  • We undertook a review and baseline assessment of Dube Trade Port Company's environmental authorisations and all other relevant permits and licenses.

  • Project Libra - Led the environmental team in finalising outstanding environmental issues (in respect of the transaction) relating to the sale by Anglo American of its coal mines to Seriti Coal Proprietary Limited ("Seriti"). We provided environmental assistance in respect of the relevant corporate documents including the Sale and Purchase agreement in respect of three major operating mines, plus four closed collieries with re-opening potential. The value of the deal is R2.3 billion making it one of the largest and most significant mining transactions in the last 12 months. It is a major notable deal as Seriti is aiming to become a massive diversified mining company with aspirations to be South Africa's next mining champion.

  • Appointed to advise Lenders in relation to the project financing of the development, construction, operation and maintenance of a greenfield fluorspar project. We were involved in significant aspects of this Project including conducting a comprehensive due diligence on the environmental aspects related to the Project, identifying significant risks and working with Lenders to finalise outstanding environmental issues.  We also provided advice on the environmental aspects relevant to the Common Terms Agreement and the applicable Equator Principles and IFC standards.  It is worth noting that this project was awarded "Africa Mining and Metals Deal of the Year" by IJ Global Awards which celebrate excellence and recognise the best energy, infrastructure and mining deals and firms from around the world. Sepfluor reached financial close on its Nokeng Fluorspar mining project in South Africa in late June 2017. 

  • Amsted Rail Company Inc - Led the environmental  team in relation to the acquisition of the interest in the Cast Metals Division of Scaw South Africa (Pty) Limited. We provided both regulatory  and transactional advice relating to the deal which included a detailed due diligence in respect of the Cast Metals Division, advising on complex regulatory services such as the splitting of authorisations and shared issues relating to waste and waste water. We also provided environmental transactional advice in respect of the Shareholder's Agreement and various other agreements.

  • Appointed to prepare detailed responses on behalf of Eskom in respect of pre-compliance notices issued by the Department of Environmental Affairs in respect of coal-fired power stations.  This involved a review of technical data relating to atmospheric emissions, advising on Eskom's strategy in responding to the alleged non-compliances, and drafting of the responses delivered to the regulators.  We further advised Eskom in respect of potential applications to postpone compliance with the prescribed minimum emission standards relating to its coal fired-power station.

  • Printing Industry Federation of South Africa - The environmental team previously advised members of the printing industry in respect of the Department of Environmental Affairs' intention to include printing as a listed activity in terms of the National Environmental Management: Air Quality Act, 2004.  The environmental team together with the technical air experts assisted the DEA in drafting and finalising the relevant regulation for the printing industry which was published in December 2016 for comment.

  • Advised Exxaro Resources Limited on acquisition of Total Coal South Africa (Pty) Limited from Total SA (in respect of environmental issues relevant to the transaction).

  • Advised Improchem Proprietary Limited (AECI's wholly owned subsidiary) in the acquisition of Clariant Southern Africa's water treatment business (in respect of environmental issues relevant to the transaction.

  • Advised BP Southern Africa (Pty) Ltd in its disposal of its entire liquid petroleum gas (LPG) business in South Africa, as a going concern, specifically in relation to issues of contaminated land and rehabilitation.

  • Advised the Sponsor, Karoshoek Consortium, in connection with the environmental consents in relation to the design, construction, erection, commissioning and operation of the 125MW Concentrated Solar Power Project located in the Northern Cape Province of South Africa.  The Project achieved Financial Close in February 2015.

  • Advised Lenders on environmental and land use consents, including the review of the environmental requirements under the REIPPP in connection with the financing of two solar photovoltaic power plants to be constructed in the Northern Cape, South Africa under the REIPPP. These projects achieved financial close in the first round of the REIPPP in November 2012.

  • Advised Lenders – (Nedbank Capital (a division of Nedbank Limited) and the Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa) in relation to the financing of the development, construction and operation of two wind power generation plants.  The Projects achieved Financial Close in February 2015.

  • Conducted an environmental legal compliance audit on behalf of Aveng Group Limited on a number of fixed facilities.

  • Conducted an environmental legal compliance audit on behalf of Eskom Holdings SOC Limited (Eskom) (Transmission Division) to assess legal compliance to environmental management within the Transmission Division.

  • Advised Eskom in respect of the appeal (answering statement) in relation to Atmospheric Emission Licenses granted for Kusile Power Station.

  • Advising and preparing reports for a number of companies in respect of contaminated land issues.

  • Advising companies on corporate governance, regulatory compliance, compliance investigations and the impact of health, safety and environmental issues.

  • Tina has been recognised for her work in environmental law by Chambers Global 2017 noting "She has the ability to put herself in our shoes: she understands our concerns and looks for workable solutions."
  • Chambers Global 2018 described Tina as "a dynamic and energetic" lawyer with "excellent technical environmental expertise." 
  • Co-authored a book on IFC Performance Standards (Chapter 3:  Performance Standard 3 : Resource Efficiency and Pollution Prevention) : IFC Performance Standards on Environmental and Social Sustainability : (A Guidebook), Lexis Nexis, 2012.
  • Member of the Environmental Law Association.
  • Member of the International Association for Impact Assessment.
  • Member of Nicola (Network for Contaminated Land).



Climate change and sustainability

Publication | May 18, 2020

Environmental, Social and Governance Insights

Resources and tools | May 18, 2020

Equator Principles: Version 4

Publication | November 18, 2019