DLA Piper's Australian practice is advising on South Africa's renewable energy program, which is expected to reach the billions in value.
Lawyers at the firm, in conjunction with DLA Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr, are advising more than half of the successful bidders for Phase 1 and Phase 2 of South Africa’s Independent Power Producers (IPP) procurement program on solar, wind, hydro, biomass and biogas projects.
DLA Piper Australia is also acting for bidders and lenders providing project finance for a number of projects in Phase 3 of the Programme.
The Renewable Energy IPP Procurement Programme is a landmark project for South Africa and has been designed to stimulate the country’s renewable energy sector. The goal is to generate 42 per cent of all new electricity from renewable energy sources over the next 20 years.
Damian McNair, head of finance and projects in Asia Pacific is leading the DLA Piper team with partners Bill Glover and Bruce Linke.
"We are delighted with the recent announcement that confirms DLA Piper Australia is advising more than half of the preferred bidders for the first two phases of the Programme. We are already acting for Phase 3 bidders in particular on a large solar project and we are currently negotiating with a global EPC and O&M Contractor in Germany on the contractual and technical arrangements as part of the bid which is due on August 20,” said McNair.
DLA Piper Australia will also be involved with DLA Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr in two additional renewable programmes scheduled for launch in 2012. They are the Small Renewable Energy IPP programme, incorporating projects less than 5MW, and the Cogeneration Programme which will involve new technologies such as cogeneration from biomass and landfill gas.
"Our service offering is unique. We are the only global law firm to send Australian lawyers to South Africa to advise on these landmark projects. We have also brought in partners from our London, Hong Kong and Dubai offices. Having this breadth of global expertise on the ground in South Africa with the local expertise of DLA Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr is a key differentiator," McNair said.
Kieran Whyte, Director and National Head of the Projects and Infrastructure practice at Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr said that working with the DLA Piper offices in Melbourne and London meant that his South African team had full access to international best practice and it had allowed them to harness additional skills set and resource capacity.
“In this regard, we received market recognition for the standard of documentation produced including guidance notes produced to assist clients and our ability to find solutions to the numerous challenges that arose in respect of property related issues and from the nature of the Project Agreements," he said.