Total Opens Solar-Powered Service Station in Lagos
French energy giant Total opened a $1.5 million environmental-friendly solar powered service station in Lagos. This is the first of its kind in West Africa.
Total is committed to offer green energy to Africa, directs its efforts to boost zero emission of harmful green house gases, zero noise pollution and renewed energy sources. Total Nigeria said that it’s pledge is to provide renewed energy solutions that are environmentally friendly and efficient.
Momar Nguer, Senior Vice President, Total Group, said at the commissioning of the new service station,“We launched our new T-air service station concept to display our commitment to renewable energy, more investment in Nigeria and boosting economic growth and sustainable development.” He disclosed that the project is worth N250million.
The service station is part of the company’s vow to produce innovative and safe energy that are in line with international health and safety standards, he said. “It is not borne out of purely economic reasons but out of Total’s passion to make sustainable and positive impact on the lives of people in developing societies,” he added.
Total also plans to open a second solar-energy powered service station in Nigeria in Abuja, the capital city, before the end of the year.
Total Nigeria Managing Director Alexis Vovk noted that more than 80 million people lack access to electricity in Nigeria. He said that apart from the newly opened service station, Total has also undertaken various steps like investing on several creative solutions like the Awango by Total solar lamps and hybrid energy solutions for the telecommunications industry. “This year alone, we have commissioned 16 new stations with another solar-powered station in Abuja,” he was reported as saying.
The Nigerian government has initiated several reforms in the energy sector of late. Total said that with the help of its solar lamps, it seeks to provide access to lighting for 5 percent “off-the-grid” households in Nigeria in the next three years.
USS pension fund buys 50% stake in Bruc Energy
The Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) private pension fund has taken a 50% stake in Bruc Energy, a Spain and Portugal renewables-focussed investment vehicle created by OPTrust and Spanish businessman, Juan Béjar.
In the transaction arranged by USS Investment Management, the wholly-owned subsidiary and principal investment manager and advisor to the Scheme, USS has invested €225M (c.£200m) in return for the stake in a major pipeline of 4,000MW of PV farms. Bruc Energy has an ambitious growth plan that goes beyond this to invest in other green energies, such as wind power.
USS, which announced two weeks ago its aim to be net zero by 2050, already has a strong relationship with both OPTrust and Juan Bejar through Globalvia, a specialist infrastructure platform focussed on managing rail and highways assets around the world.
Spain’s sun-drenched climate and national target to reach 100% renewable-based generation by 2050 make it an attractive place to invest in solar energy. In addition, the decades long lifespan of solar PV panels make them well-suited to USS in helping pay members’ pensions long into the future.
USS Investment Management CEO, Simon Pilcher, said: “We are delighted to be committing further finance to renewables and particularly to a major Spanish solar platform like this. We have already invested or committed around £1 billion to renewable energy and demand for this will only increase as more and more countries transition to lower carbon. We know that our members care very much about climate change and ESG and we are convinced that USS playing its part in supporting the transition to a low carbon economy makes good financial sense, too. This announcement closely follows on from our stated ambition to become Net Zero by 2050 so this transaction and others like it will be a key plank of our strategy going forward.”
Gavin Merchant, Co-Head of Direct Equity, said: “We have worked alongside OPTrust and Juan Béjar for many years and are delighted to be making this investment. The long-term nature of solar and the steady returns make renewables attractive to a pension scheme needing to pay pensions for years to come.”
OPTrust’s Morgan McCormick, Managing Director, Private Markets Group UK said: “We are excited to have USS join Bruc Energy building on our strong existing relationship. Their investment will help Bruc become one of the leading renewable energy platforms in Spain. At OPTrust, we believe that investing in renewable energy helps transitions the world to a more sustainable economy. In doing so, we can continue to deliver on our mission of paying pensions today and preserving pensions for tomorrow.”
Béjar said the partnership is a key step to establishing Bruc as one of the more dynamic players in the renewables industry in Spain, because it ensures access to the funds to develop our current portfolio. "All three shareholders of Bruc Energy share a long-term vision, but also the ambition and the social responsibility to counter the effects of climate change in the short-term," he said.
Following the transaction, which remains subject to conditions, including regulatory approval, Bruc Energy will be owned 50% by USS and BROP, a vehicle owned by OPTrust and Béjar. The transaction was advised by Royal Bank of Canada (RBC), Greenhill and Nomura. Juan Béjar will be the president of Bruc Energy and Luis Venero the CEO.