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Nedbank provides 40% of renewable energy funding

Staff Reporter

Nedbank has provided the financial backing for about 40% of the energy represented by bids for SA's first renewable energy independent power producer.

Nedbank Capital has lauded the announcement by the department of energy on Wednesday morning of the preferred bidders for South Africa’s first renewable energy independent power producers (IPPs) as a massive step forward towards the country’s realisation of its vision for a green economy.

Mike Peo, head of infrastructure, energy and telecommunications at Nedbank Capital, pointed to the bank’s involvement with no less than 15 of the 53 IPP bidders, as clear evidence of its commitment to supporting the renewable energy ambitions of the South African government.

As one of the leading investors in infrastructure projects in South Africa’s financial markets, he said it was perhaps fitting that Nedbank provided the financial backing for approximately 40% of the more than 1 200MW worth of energy capacity represented by all the bids submitted in this first phase of the country’s renewable energy IPP programme.

However, Peo was quick to point out that the bank’s involvement in the country’s fledgling renewable energy industry extended beyond mere funding provision.

“Nedbank Capital’s extensive experience as a finance provider to environmentally sustainable and carbon managed projects meant that our support of these prospective IPPs went far beyond merely providing the finance they needed to bank the bids,” he explained.

“We have also partnered closely with many of these businesses and called on our vast ‘green’ finance experience to provide them with valuable input, guidance and advice into their bids and, even, the sustainability of their operations. Our team’s financial and technical expertise allowed us to support bids across all technologies and we are well position with a significant number of projects which will be bid during the next phases of the IPP procurement programme.”

SA is ready
According to Peo, even more significant than the announcement of the preferred bidders is the level of interest shown by prospective IPPs in becoming part of South Africa’s fledgling renewable energy infrastructure.

“The fact that more than 400 prospective bidders registered their interest in the lead-up to the tender closure, demonstrates a readiness by industry in this country to get behind this important component of South Africa’s developing green economy,” he enthuses, “which definitely bodes well, not just for the sustainability of South Africa’s renewable energy sector, but for the future of the country as a whole.”

Peo concluded: “Nedbank is immensely proud of its involvement in helping to bring South Africa to this milestone in its green economy journey and we look forward to being even more involved going forward, by working with government and other environmentally-minded businesses and financial institutions to ensure that renewable energy remains a key driver of our country’s sustainable future.”

Standard Bank disclosed recently that it has underwritten approximately R12-billion of debt on various wind and solar mandates.—I-Net Bridge

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