South African thermal coal producer Seriti Resources said on Monday it had agreed to acquire a majority stake in Windlab Africa’s wind and solar energy assets in a $55 million deal that marks its first step towards renewable energy.
Privately-owned Seriti, a major coal supplier to South Africa’s state power utility Eskom, said it would acquire 51% of Windlab Africa, which has 3.5 gigawatts of renewable energy projects at different stages of development in South Africa and east Africa.
Miners of coal, a major source of carbon emissions, have come under pressure to wind down production of the fossil fuel amid a global push towards clean sources of energy.
“We need to be moving towards a lower carbon future through investing capital from coal into green energy. It is not only the right thing to do, but it makes business and societal sense,” Seriti chief executive officer Mike Teke said in a statement.
Seriti currently produces about 34 million tonnes of thermal coal, the bulk of which is used to fire South Africa’s power stations.