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Development financing for Omburu Sun

The Development Bank of Namibia announced late this week it has provided finance for a 4.5 megaWatt solar power generator, Omburu Sun Energy, near Omaruru.
Omburu Sun Energy, owned by InnoSun Energy, a locally registered company, was established after InnoSun signed a power purchase agreement with NamPower in December 2013. Work on the solar facility has already begun.
Once completed Omburu Sun Energy is expected to generate 4.5 MW electricity for NamPower. This electricity will reduce NamPower’s reliance on coal power, hydro power and electricity imported from South Africa.

Development Bank CEO, Martin Inkumbi said the bank’s appraisal of the project showed that InnoSun has the necessary skills to bring the project to fruition, as well as experience with renewable energy projects in a number of African countries.
He said that the forecast revenue and the terms of the power purchase agreement with NamPower gave confidence that Omburu Sun would be sustainable over the long-term.
Inkumbi noted that in addition to being the first large-scale solar electricity generation project in Namibia, the project opens the doors for power generation by the private sector.
He said that, although large-scale power generation was previously the domain of the public sector, the successful trial of the project will create a receptive environment for more companies to generate power from renewable resources such as solar.
Inkumbi said that although solar power could not entirely address the needs of on-demand electricity, use of various sources of renewable energy could substantially reduce Namibia’s requirement for fossil fuels.
This, he said, would have an incremental impact as confidence in renewable sources grows and more facilities are added.
He said that additional local capacity is vital for social development as the overwhelming majority of Namibia’s population does not have access to electricity yet, and that as they become connected to the power grid, the demand for electricity and the requirement for imported electricity will grow.
Citing Paulus Shilamba, CEO of NamPower, Inkumbi said that Namibia has a shortfall of electricity, and the shortfall is expected to approach 650 MW stating that the three main local facilities generate only 39% own electricity. In 2015, he said, the cost of imported electricity is forecast to amount to N$2,4 billion but that this could rise to N$10 billion in 4 years.
Local generation of energy for relatively low amounts will offset the outflow of capital from Namibia, Inkumbi said.
He said the SADC power pool is in dire need of cost-effective development and improvement, and that local generation will protect Namibia against exploding energy costs and act as a buffer against fluctuations in supply from across the border.

About The Author

Following reverse listing, public can now acquire shareholding in Paratus Namibia


20 February 2020, Windhoek, Namibia: Paratus Namibia Holdings (PNH) was founded as Nimbus Infrastructure Limited (“Nimbus”), Namibia’s first Capital Pool Company listed on the Namibian Stock Exchange (“NSX”).

Although targeting an initial capital raising of N$300 million, Nimbus nonetheless managed to secure funding to the value of N$98 million through its CPC listing. With a mandate to invest in ICT infrastructure in sub-Sahara Africa, it concluded management agreements with financial partner Cirrus and technology partner, Paratus Telecommunications (Pty) Ltd (“Paratus Namibia”).

Paratus Namibia Managing Director, Andrew Hall

Its first investment was placed in Paratus Namibia, a fully licensed communications operator in Namibia under regulation of the Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN). Nimbus has since been able to increase its capital asset base to close to N$500 million over the past two years.

In order to streamline further investment and to avoid duplicating potential ICT projects in the market between Nimbus and Paratus Namibia, it was decided to consolidate the operations.

Publishing various circulars to shareholders, Nimbus took up a 100% shareholding stake in Paratus Namibia in 2019 and proceeded to apply to have its name changed to Paratus Namibia Holdings with a consolidated board structure to ensure streamlined operations between the capital holdings and the operational arm of the business.

This transaction was approved by the Competitions Commission as well as CRAN, following all the relevant regulatory approvals as well as the necessary requirements in terms of corporate governance structures.

Paratus Namibia has evolved as a fully comprehensive communications operator in Namibia and operates as the head office of the Paratus Group in Africa. Paratus has established a pan-African footprint with operations in six African countries, being: Angola, Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zambia.

The group has achieved many successes over the years of which more recently includes the building of the Trans-Kalahari Fibre (TKF) project, which connects from the West Africa Cable System (WACS) eastward through Namibia to Botswana and onward to Johannesburg. The TKF also extends northward through Zambia to connect to Dar es Salaam in Tanzania, which made Paratus the first operator to connect the west and east coast of Africa under one Autonomous System Number (ASN).

This means that Paratus is now “exporting” internet capacity to landlocked countries such as Zambia, Botswana, the DRC with more countries to be targeted, and through its extensive African network, Paratus is well-positioned to expand the network even further into emerging ICT territories.

PNH as a fully-listed entity on the NSX, is therefore now the 100% shareholder of Paratus Namibia thereby becoming a public company. PNH is ready to invest in the future of the ICT environment in Namibia. The public is therefore invited and welcome to acquire shares in Paratus Namibia Holdings by speaking to a local stockbroker registered with the NSX. The future is bright, and the opportunities are endless.