Africa’s Energy Market To Hit $4.5bn In 2018
Africa’s energy industry Merger and Acquisition (M&A) in 2018 may rise to $4.5 billion this year according to Baker McKenzie’s global transaction report, which foresees increased activity in the next two years for the energy sector.
The Global Transaction Forecast for the Energy Sector report shows that total M&A value in the energy sector in Africa and the Middle East was $4.4 billion in 2017. This is predicted to rise to $4.5 billion in 2018, with deal value rising again in 2019 to $5.2 billion before dropping to $3.3 billion in 2020.
Kieran Whyte, head of energy, mining and infrastructure sector group at Baker McKenzie in Johannesburg, said that in Africa, Greenfield investment continued in the energy sector, particularly in renewables, which was forecast to grow in coming years.
This is being led by the African Development Bank’s New Deal on Energy for Africa, which has set as its target universal access to electricity across Africa by 2025. “According to AfDB, to achieve this, 160GW of new on-grid generation and some 75 million new off-grid connections will be needed, through a mix of conventional and renewable energy sources.
Complementary initiatives by Power Africa, the EU and other multilateral and development finance institutions will also play a greater role,” Whyte explained. However, Whyte noted that investment in the energy sector had in some instances stalled due to regulatory and political uncertainty, as well as economic conditions in particular countries in Africa.
“In South Africa, uncertainty surrounding the country’s future energy policy, the delay in the publication of the Integrated Resource Plan, anticipated additional political changes, as well as financial and governance concerns at the state-owned electricity supply company, Eskom, have all resulted in an uncertain energy landscape and a loss of potential direct foreign investment in the electricity sector,” he noted.
Whyte said that it was hoped that under the leadership of new South African president, Cyril Ramaphosa, investors in the sector would receive the clarity they were looking for, which would act as a catalyst for renewed investor confidence.