RMB makes big push into renewables and private energy

 ·22 Mar 2023

Rand Merchant Bank (RMB) has acquired a 25% shareholding in Remgro’s Ubiquity Energy Platform, a strategic energy-focused investment vehicle.

Ubiquity is the holding company of Energy Exchange of Southern Africa (Energy Exchange).

Both RMB and Remgro said that they are committed to investing in the private power market to unlock South Africa’s natural renewable resource potential.

Energy Exchange – a Nersa-licenced electricity trader – offers corporate customers an alternative source of electricity produced by independent power generators.

“As a large-scale purchaser of electricity from generators of power, Energy Exchange is a key enabler in the private power landscape, connecting South African corporates to privately produced, renewable energy,” said Sindisiwe Mosoeu from RMB.

“In addition to helping corporates meet their de-carbonization goals, Energy Exchange will supply a bespoke energy profile to match their unique consumption requirements. This will be done while solving for a balance in competitive pricing, long-term price certainty and flexible contract tenors.”

Energy Exchange will also allow corporates to tailor their energy profile by blending different sources of electricity – including wind, solar, biomass and hydro. A blended approach can match a consumer’s needs far more accurately than a single source of electricity.

“The South African market requires a material shift in the way electricity is produced, sold, and consumed and will need bold thinking and innovative solutions,” said Philip De Villiers from RMB.

“South Africa already has both the natural resources and the capability to address our current energy constraints.”

Pieter Uys from Remgro said that the company has been developing Energy Exchange for over five years and has already built a strong pipeline on the supply and demand side of the electricity trading business.

The electricity tariffs charged by Energy Exchange escalate at inflation, which provides a predictable and stable cost estimate for businesses.

“The platform offers the benefit of aggregation, allowing multiple customers to access scale benefits in procuring energy. In turn, large power generators are able to negotiate with a single centralised electricity buyer,” Uys said.

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