Global asset management firm Blackstone announced that it has partnered with Black Rhino, an African infrastructure development company, to identify, develop, finance, construct and operate large-scale infrastructure projects across Sub-Saharan Africa with a focus on the energy sector, including power generation, transmission, fuel storage and pipelines.
Formed in January 2012 and based in Johannesburg, South Africa, and Dakar, Senegal, Black Rhino is led by Founder and CEO Brian Herlihy, who previously founded and served as CEO of Seacom. The Black Rhino team is comprised of developers, construction project managers and development finance experts. The team will leverage Blackstone's existing expertise in the energy sector.
Steve Schwarzman, Blackstone's Chairman, CEO, and Co-Founder, stated:
Long-term capital investment in energy is critical to Africa's development. Blackstone is pleased to be partnering with Brian Herlihy, Mimi Alemayehou, and the entire Black Rhino team to develop innovative projects with the power to transform economies across Africa.
Sean Klimczak, Senior Managing Director at Blackstone, commented:
We look forward to partnering with Black Rhino in developing energy infrastructure and power projects in Africa, where the need for investment is enormous. Black Rhino has a world-class team, extensive experience and a strong track record of working together with local stakeholders, which make them an ideal partner as Blackstone looks to invest in Africa for the long term.
Brian Herlihy, Black Rhino's Founder and CEO, stated:
With Blackstone as its partner, we are convinced that Black Rhino will be able to undertake truly transformational projects in the power and energy sectors that are necessary for Africa to maintain the significant economic growth it is currently experiencing.
Black Rhino's active project development pipeline includes projects in Djibouti, Ethiopia, Nigeria, and South Africa. Both Blackstone and Black Rhino have a successful track record of working collaboratively with local stakeholders to develop projects in a socially responsible way that creates long-term value for local communities and regional economies.
Through its portfolio company Sithe Global, Blackstone is a lead investor alongside the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development in the 250 MW Bujagali Hydropower Plant in Jinja, Uganda on the Nile River. The facility has reduced the cost of power for Uganda's national utility by two thirds, nearly doubled the country's generation capacity.
Blackstone is also a founding investor in Kosmos, an oil and gas exploration company. Kosmos has worked closely with the Government of Ghana and the Ghana National Petroleum Company to develop the deep-water Jubilee oil field, one of West Africa's largest discoveries in the last decade.