Soitec OK for Touwsrivier stake sale

South Africa has provisionally approved Soitec’s plan to divest its equity stake in the under-construction 44MW Touwsrivier concentrated PV (CPV) project, in what would be a major financial milestone for the French company.

The plan would see an unnamed but “already-identified” investor buy into Touwsrivier, which will propel the CPV to an entirely new level of visibility within the global solar industry as it is taken on line in the months ahead.

In a bid to deter speculation and shoddy workmanship, South Africa has imposed stringent ownership requirements on developers participating in its renewables tenders, representing a significant financial burden for smaller players like Soitec.

But with half of the capacity at Touwsrivier due on line by the end of the month, Soitec can soon begin freeing up the considerable money it has invested in the plant.

Soitec has previously said it expects to haul in revenues of €80m ($111m) from Touwsrivier, a first-round project in South Africa's Western Cape.

By comparison, the company’s solar division reported revenues of €300,000 in the most recent quarter.