Namibia: Localisation of Renewable Energy Industry Continues - Mergence Acquires Majority Ownership of Two Solar Plants in Gobabis

Mergence Unlisted Investment Managers Namibia has increased its shareholding in the two Ejuva renewable energy projects in Gobabis from 17% to a majority stake of 66% having acquired the 49% previously held by co-developer and initial part-financier, CIGenCo, a subsidiary of South Africa-listed Consolidated Infrastructure Group Limited.

The two adjacent Ejuva solar power plants, with a combined output of 10MW, were officially opened in August 2018 as part of the Feed-in Tariff programme (REFIT programme).

The REFIT programme was initiated by the Ministry of Mines and Energy and the Electricity Control Board to establish independent power producers in Namibia.

The Ejuva projects are backed by 25-year power purchase agreements with Nampower and feed an estimated 25.8GWh (Gigawatt hours) per annum into the national grid.

Hileni Nghinaunye, Mergence Portfolio Manager, said that the increased Mergence shareholding demonstrates further localisation of the renewable energy industry.

"The Mergence group ethos is to create shared value and this is what we are achieving as it is ultimately the retirement fund members of the GIPF who benefit from the steady financial returns provided by infrastructure investment, as well as the positive "social returns" provided by a strengthened economic environment, whether it be renewable energy, job creation or skills development," she said.

She added that the increased Mergence stake in Ejuva is in line with the fund manager's broader strategy to position itself as a strategic regional energy company focused on tracking the acute power shortage in Namibia.

The renewable energy sector has held up well over the past year during the COVID-19 pandemic. "This is very good news as it means vital sectors, such as clinics and hospitals in the healthcare sector, as well as manufacturing have continued to benefit from an uninterrupted supply of power," Nghinaunye said.

"Mergence is therefore delighted to continue joining forces with the projects , local partners and co-developers, OKA Capital (Pty) Ltd and BPI Energy Solutions (Pty) Ltd, who played a key role in successfully bringing the projects to commissioning three years ago," said Nghinaunye.

More From: Namibia Economist

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