Projects and infrastructure in South Africa

Bowmans

Bowmans has a large and stable team, offering high levels of specialisation across the projects and infrastructure sphere. The firm has an outstanding record in power and renewables, ports, transport and logistics, and benefits from specialist teams in front-end construction, environmental and regulatory matters. While being at the forefront of the South African market, it has landed a series of headline engagements for projects elsewhere in Africa.  Anton Barnes-Webb and Patrick Hirsch are leading figures in project finance. Andrew van Niekerk provides specialist front-end infrastructure expertise and Daryn Webb has an outstanding record in South African and Africa-wide power and infrastructure projects.

Practice head(s):

Shamilah Grimwood-Norley; Patrick Hirsch; Anton Barnes-Webb; Andrew van Niekerk; Claire Tucker; Andrew Pike

Key clients

Virtus Energy Solutions and Rensource Distributed Energy

Department of Energy (DoE)

FirstRand Bank Ltd (acting through its Rand Merchant Bank Division)

Gigajoule International

Hitachi Limited

Standard Bank of South Africa

Zimborders

Petredec

MSC Cruises of Geneva and its subsidiary KwaZulu Cruise Terminal

ENSafrica

ENSafrica has been at the forefront of the renewable energy projects segment since the start of the programme in South Africa. Covering the full spectrum of energy, infrastructure and mining projects, the team is increasingly active in matters outside of South Africa, including in Namibia, Uganda and Ethiopia. Eric le Grange leads the project development and project finance practice and has considerable experience in energy, oil and gas, and mining. Loren Tibshraeny is a leading figure in EPC matters and John Ferraz is also noted for project finance in and outside South Africa.

Practice head(s):

Eric le Grange

Other key lawyers:

Loren Tibshraeny; John Ferraz; Sasha Singh; Lauren Petersen

Testimonials

They are very knowledgeable about the project finance market in South Africa and sub-Saharan Africa. They also have a large and well-skilled team and are very pragmatic about solving legal and commercial issues in power, infrastructure and renewable energy projects.

They have shown a willingness to solve challenging legal and commercial issues.

‘A very young, diverse and knowledgeable team that goes the extra mile on every aspect of the project.’

‘Lauren Petersen always ensured that her team attended to every request, made our team feel like we were her only client and she always went the extra mile to resolve any legal matter that was a stumbling block.’

Key clients

Absa Bank Limited

African Rainbow Energy & Power

Arcem Resources Limited and Affiliates

Development Bank of Southern Africa

Enel Green Power

Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane

Government of Uganda

Investec Bank

Ledjadja Coal

Masa Chrome Company

Mulilo Energy

One Power, Scatec Solar, Norfund

Overseas Private Investment Corporation

Uganda National Oil Company

Work highlights

  • Advised Ledjadja Coal on the development and financing of an integrated mining, beneficiation and rail project.
  • Advised the Uganda National Oil Company on the support for and participation in the Uganda/Tanzania crude oil pipeline.

Fasken

Fasken is a big player in South African project finance, most notably in the renewable energy industry; it has achieved a high market share of engagements in South Africa's renewable energy programme. The firm has also made an impression in captive power and embedded generation projects, and moreover it has a depth of experience in PPPs, mining, port and transport infrastructure, and coal-fired power projects. Ashen Jugoo leads the team which includes the immensely experienced Lara Bezuidenhoudt and Africa managing partner Blaize Vance.  

Practice head(s):

Ashen Jugoo

Other key lawyers:

Lara Bezuidenhoudt; Blaize Vance

Key clients

Investec Bank

Nedbank

Investec Asset Management

Segilola Resources Operating

Herbert Smith Freehills South Africa LLP

Herbert Smith Freehills South Africa LLP's formidable team in South Africa and its deep commitment to the entire African continent has landed a series of major engagements across the region. This includes a variety of energy and infrastructure projects. Much credit should go to the highly-rated Brigette Baillie who has strong connections to South African and international lenders, along with a range of sponsors and project companies. Consultant Biddy Faber is another experienced figure in project finance and PPPs.

Practice head(s):

Brigette Baillie

Other key lawyers:

Biddy Faber

Key clients

Rand Merchant Bank (a division of First Rand Bank)

The Standard Bank of South Africa

Sanlam Capital Markets

Futuregrowth Asset Management

Building Energy South Africa

Absa Bank, Nedbank, The Standard Bank of SA and CDC Group

Kore Potash

Lightstruck Operations

International Finance Corporation (IFC)

Bombela Concession Company

Work highlights

  • Advised the lenders on the expansion, upgrading and improvement of the Beitbridge border post in Zimbabwe.
  • Advised The Standard Bank of South Africa on the limited recourse debt financing of a borrower that sought to fund the purchase of a glass bottles manufacturing plant.
  • Advised the Government of Malawi in relation to the development and financing through a PPP model of the proposed 450MW Mpatamanga Hydropower Project funded by the IFC.

Webber Wentzel

Webber Wentzel has a younger and perhaps more dynamic team than some of its competitors. It is at the forefront of many energy and infrastructure segments, including embedded generation projects in South Africa, Namibia, Ghana and Mali. Moreover, it has seen growth in oil and gas pipeline, storage terminal and refinery projects in South Africa, Zimbabwe, Ghana and Uganda. Its long client list of sponsors, project companies and lenders, illustrates the high regard that the team has developed. Johannesburg-based Jason van der Poel is a prominent name in the sector.

Other key lawyers:

Jason van der Poel

Testimonials

‘The team makes an effort to understand what the client’s needs are and thus are able to provide the best legal advice.’

‘The WW team consistently draft well laid-out, easily understandable agreements that address all the necessary considerations, thereby demonstrating their knowledge and expertise.’

‘Great professional and human team. Great dedication, knowledge and experience.’

‘Sector knowledge, legal thoroughness, creativity and commercial practicality.’

‘Jason van der Poel has immersed himself in the industry and he is therefore in a unique position to combine his knowledge of the sector with his legal knowledge/skills/expertise. I believe that this sets him apart.’

‘Jason van der Poel is excellent and the advice he offers is very much directed at a positive commercial outcome. He is available when needed and will ensure that he delivers within the set timelines.’

Key clients

Actis

Enel Green Power

Pembani Remgro Investment Managers

Standard Bank of South Africa

Nedbank

The Development Bank of Southern Africa

Absa

BioTherm Energy

Astron Energy

Cupric Canyon/Khoemacau Copper Mining

Karpower

Acciona Energy

Lekela Power

Anglo American and Group Companies

Sasol

Hulisani

Metier Sustainable Capital Fund II

Sola Group

Grupo Cobra South Africa

Lebalelo Water User Association

Industrial Development Corporation

Rio Tinto

responsAbility investments and Global Climate Partnership Fund

Sturdee Energy

Sedgeley Solar Saver South Africa

Interwaste

Mota-Engil Engenharia e Construcao Africa

Work highlights

  • Advised a consortium led by Interwaste in the negotiations phase of The Garden Route District Municipality’s public private partnership (PPP) for the development, design, finance, maintenance and operation of a new district regional landfill site.
  • Advised Rustenburg Platinum Mines, a wholly owned subsidiary of Anglo Platinum, on the procurement of an independent power producer to develop a solar PV facility to supply energy to RPM’s Mogalakwena Mine.
  • Advised the GCPF (through ResponsAbility) in respect of a 5MW Solar PV facility in Keetmanshoop, Namibia.

Baker McKenzie Johannesburg

Baker McKenzie Johannesburg has managed to tap into the broader expertise and experience of the international firm, leveraging broader specialist skills in climate change programmes, gas-to-power initiatives and gas pipelines. The Johannesburg team is active in domestic and sub-Saharan projects, including those in Mozambique, Namibia and Zambia. Having been amongst the leading firms in South Africa's sequence of renewable energy programmes, the team has grown active in corporate power purchase agreements (CPPAs). Energy and infrastructure projects specialist Kieran Whyte is hugely experienced in South Africa and wider Africa matters. Jen Stolp has joined White & Case LLP. Wildu de Plessis left the firm.

Practice head(s):

Kieran Whyte

Testimonials

‘An excellent team that is well aware of the challenges and opportunities of the South African Market and is able to offer excellent value for money.’

‘They have a commercial approach that proves very competitive compared to peers.’

‘Kieran Whyte’s input is invaluable in pulling together the right team at the beginning of a mandate, and ensuring that value for money is brought to the client.’

‘Kieran Whyte has expertise, experience and local knowledge.’

Key clients

Absa Bank

Rand Merchant Bank

Nedbank

Standard Bank

Work highlights

  • Advised Standard Bank on the development of a corporate power purchase agreement ( CPPA) strategy to roll out to its C&I client base.

Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr

Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr is making a further impression in projects across sub-Saharan Africa, including electricity and oil and gas projects and is also at the forefront of secondary market deals in the renewable energy sector. Embedded generation projects are another forte for the team. Jay Govender leads the team and has extensive experience across the projects and infrastructure sphere. Emma Dempster is prominent in energy projects, including small-scale embedded generation projects. Cape Town's Megan Rodgers is a key figure in domestic and sub-Saharan oil and gas projects.

Practice head(s):

Jay Govender

Other key lawyers:

Emma Dempster; Megan Rodgers; Tessa Brewis

Testimonials

‘The team is practical and goal oriented.’

‘The approachability and attention to detail makes this practice unique.’

‘The depth of knowledge and technical expertise is unmatched.’

‘Jay Govender is a very professional and pleasant person to work with and she has been a key resource on many of our projects in the power sector. She has great knowledge about the legal and regulatory environments in the various countries in the SADC region.’

‘Emma Dempster is outstanding. Her work ethic, approach and technical abilities sets her apart from her peers. She takes a pragmatic approach and works very well under pressure.’  

‘Emma Dempster has significant experience across Africa in renewable EPC/PPA contracting.’

‘Megan Rodgers’ understanding of the oil and gas industry is second to none and she continuously outshines the competition.’

‘Megan Rodgers has been able to bring a commercial interpretation to industry matters, which has saved us thousands of dollars and time.’

‘Tessa Brewis is smart, quickly understands complex problems and is good at both big picture and small detail thinking. She is a practical negotiator who is no pushover, but is never unpleasant.’

Key clients

Southern African Power Pool

Ethiopian Government

Ethiopia Electric Power

Kenya Urban Road Authority

The Sungu Sungu Oil Group

BioTherm Energy

Old Mutual Alternative Investments

Phakwe Witkop Investments

Azinam

Middle Lusutfu Hydropower

Inspired Evolution

Africa Development

Denham Capital

The National Petroleum Corporation of Namibia

Blue Crane Breeze

City of Cape Town

Energy Partners Utilities

Work highlights

  • Appointed as lead legal adviser for the critical and market-shaping ANNA Transmission Interconnector project, which is expected to link the Namibian and Angolan electricity networks, expanding the interconnection of the electricity network between Southern African countries.
  • Advised Phakwe Witkop Investments on its R343m acquisition of 51% of the shares in Core Energy, which owns the 33MW Witkop Solar Plant.
  • Advised Azinam on a number of matters including its acquisition from Africa Energy of a 50% interest in and operatorship of Block 2B ahead of the drilling of the Gazania-1 well.

Norton Rose Fulbright South Africa Inc

Norton Rose Fulbright South Africa Inc has an outstanding record in project finance, particularly in South Africa's renewable energy programme. The global firm has a major emphasis on renewables. Banking and finance department head Jackie Midlane is a leader in project finance, while Greg Nott is another experienced figure in renewable energy, power, oil and gas, and infrastructure. Cape Town director Lizel Oberholzer  leads the firm's Africa energy practice and specialises in oil and gas projects.

Practice head(s):

Jackie Midlane

Other key lawyers:

Greg Nott; Lizel Oberholzer

Testimonials

‘Jackie Midlane is an excellent finance lawyer who was able to provide us with effective legal solutions to very complex finance and regulatory issues which arose consistently on this project. Her in-depth understanding of finance as well as construction law assisted us greatly on the many complex issues.’

‘Jackie Midlane is an excellent finance lawyer. This was greatly helpful to us on this project owing to the many complex finance issues which arose on this project.’

Werksmans Attorneys

Werksmans Attorneys has achieved great prominence in the infrastructure segment, notably toll roads, rail, serviced accommodation and other headline projects. The firm is also equally adept in the energy space, included embedded generation projects and projects linked to South Africa's coal baseload IPP procurement programme. Moreover, it is achieving a greater market share of engagements outside of South Africa. Department head Chris Moraitis is highly rated for infrastructure projects. Deon Griessel provides further projects expertise, including extensive EPC and O&M agreement experience.

Practice head(s):

Chris Moraitis

Other key lawyers:

Deon Griessel; Astrid Berman; Dave Walker; Jonathan Behr

Testimonials

‘My experience with Werksmans has always been favourable. There is inherent strength and experience within the teams and also a willingness to listen.’

‘I mainly work with the team that consists of Chris Moraitis, Astrid Berman and Jonathan Behr, who compliment each other seamlessly in a project negotiation. They are all pragmatic, experienced and easily accessible.’

Key clients

BAIC CA

China Railway International Group

CRI Eagle Investments

Gautrain Management Agency

Korea Electric Power Corporation

Kotulo Tsatsi Energy

Marubeni Corporation

Nova Energy

Old Mutual Life Assurance Company (South Africa)

Panda Hill Tanzania

Public Investment Corporation

Raubex

South African National Roads Agency

Vestas

WBHO Construction

Work highlights

  • Represented South African National Roads Agency on the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project including amendments to the requisite legislation to facilitate open road tolling.
  • Advised WBHO on the Kopanong Precinct PPP project for the procurement of private party consortia to deliver and manage the cluster buildings under a PPP procurement of serviced accommodation in the Kopanong Precinct.
  • Advised Raubex Group as EPC and O&M contractors in respect of the expansion, upgrading and improvement of the Beitbridge border post modernisation PPP project.

White & Case LLP

White & Case LLP has leveraged its expanding Johannesburg platform to land further engagements around sub-Saharan Africa. Working in conjunction with London, Paris, Dubai and other offices, it is now active across the energy and infrastructure spectrum, including rail and port projects, LNG regasification projects, renewable energy and petrochemicals projects. The firm has a mix of English and South African law expertise in the Johannesburg team. Gareth Hodder is English-qualified and has extensive experience in headline projects in emerging markets, particularly in the oil and gas sector. Matthew Richards provides additional specialist expertise in power purchase agreements and operation and maintenance contracts. Experienced project finance expert Jennifer Stolp has joined the team from Baker McKenzie Johannesburg.

Practice head(s):

Gareth Hodder

Other key lawyers:

Matthew Richards; Jennifer Stolp

Key clients

African Development Bank

ABSA Bank Limited

CDC

Development Bank of South Africa

Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund

Ghana National Petroleum Corporation

Helios Investment Partners

International Finance Corporation

Ministry of Energy of the Republic of Uzbekistan

Nedbank

Proparco

The Mauritius Commercial Bank

The Standard Bank of South Africa

Work highlights

  • Advised the sponsor consortium on the development and financing of a floating liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in Ghana’s Tema port. This is the first LNG regasification terminal to be constructed in sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Advised the lenders on the further expansion of the Eleme Petrochemicals Complex in Nigeria by Indorama Eleme Fertilizer & Chemicals.
  • Advised the lenders in relation to financing made available to The West Indian Ocean Cable Company to support the expansion of the Eastern Africa Submarine Cable System, a 10,000km undersea cable system that was first deployed in 2010 along the east and south coast of Africa.

Allen & Overy (South Africa) LLP

Allen & Overy (South Africa) LLP has leveraged its global reputation in projects, energy and infrastructure to develop a flourishing practice in South Africa. It has demonstrated a formidable market presence in road infrastructure and PPP-related infrastructure. Moreover, it has impressed in LNG and natural gas projects in multiple African jurisdictions. Allen Leuta has gained considerable market recognition in recent years. Sibusiso Zungu provides further senior-level expertise at counsel level, notably in the project finance segment.

Practice head(s):

Allen Leuta

Testimonials

‘A very client centric legal practice with the right level of commercially relevant advice. A value for money service. ’

‘Allen Leuta  is very client centric with a very high standard of legal advice combined with the right level of commercial acumen. He is very knowledgeable and always looks for solutions.’

 

Key clients

The Standard Bank of South Africa

Trade & Development Bank

Globeleq

Turner & Townsend in relation to the Kopanong Precinct Project

Pan African Infrastructure Development Fund 2

Nedbank

Clinix Health Group

Work highlights

  • Advised Standard Bank of South Africa and Stanbic Bank Kenya on their acquisition of International Finance Corporation and the OPEC Fund for International Development’s debt and their refinancing of the Gulf Power Project in Kenya.
  • Advised Nedbank on a proposed limited recourse facility to finance the development of an underground chrome mine in Sefateng, Limpopo Province.

Covington & Burling LLP

Covington & Burling LLP has expanded rapidly in South Africa gaining further ground in local renewable energy and infrastructure projects, along with widespread engagements across sub-Saharan Africa. The team is particularly active on the sponsor side, including power and infrastructure projects in multiple African jurisdictions. It is also noted for midstream oil and gas projects. Ben Donovan splits his time between London and Johannesburg, and has a long track record in Africa. Africa projects specialist Steven Gamble joined with a senior team from Norton Rose Fulbright South Africa Inc in September 2019. Lize-Nadine Louw joined SDG Legal.

Practice head(s):

Ben Donovan

Other key lawyers:

Steven Gamble; Lido Fontana; Deon Govendar; Muzi Kubeka

Key clients

IFC – International Finance Corporation

African Legal Support Facility

SunPower Corporation

Engie

Standard Bank of South Africa

Green Climate Fund

ACWA Power

Rand Merchant Bank

Lufubu Hydropower Company

Work highlights

  • Advised the project sponsors on all of the financing, construction and operation aspects relating to the 147MW Roggeveld wind farm.
  • Advised Rand Merchant Bank on the project related and construction aspects of upgrading the largest ethanol plant in South Africa.
  • Advised the project sponsors in connection with the complex development and financing of the Lufubu hydro power project on the Lufubu River in the Northern Province of Zambia.

Pinsent Masons LLP

Pinsent Masons LLP has gained considerable traction in the African projects and infrastructure market during its short existence in Johannesburg. Toll road projects both in and outside South Africa are a particular forte for the team. Claire Barclay is a recognised specialist in infrastructure projects, representing government authorities and project companies in PPPs across southern and East Africa. Apicksha Patel is also playing a key role in developing the firm's standing in energy and infrastructure projects across Africa. The firm's market leading front-end construction practice provides valuable support.

Practice head(s):

Claire Barclay; Apicksha Patel; Jurg van Dyk; Rob Morson

Testimonials

‘Highly skilled and experienced. Finishes projects on time and budget. Great communication skills ’

Key clients

Eris

Stanlib

Aveng Group

RMB Westport Property

Gauteng Infrastructure Finance Agency ( GIFA )

WBHO

Profica Group

GED Africa

Tsebo Facilities

SAeTO Consortium

Work highlights

  • Advised the holding company and the Zambian and Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) project companies on the Kasomeno-Mwenda toll road concession for the design, build, finance, operate and maintenance of a 182km cross-border toll road between the DRC and Zambia, border post and bridge.
  • Advised the Urban K consortium on its bid for the rehabilitation, design, build, finance, operation and maintenance of four clusters of buildings as part of the Gauteng provincial government’s Kopanong Precinct Project.
  • Appointed by the SaeTO Consortium to advise it in respect of its bid response on the SANRAL Open Road Tolling tender.