More solar power flares at Okahandja
The Development Bank of Namibia this week announced it has provided finance for another solar power facility, Osona Sun Energy, located near Okahandja. The plant, nearing completion, has a capacity of 4,5 MW.
The new Osona plant has secured a power purchase agreement with NamPower, providing it with a contractually guaranteed offtaker for the electricity it generates.
Osona Sun Energy was developed by InnoSun, who constructed the Omburu photovoltaic park, and is owned by a consortium of investors comprising InnoSun, father and son team Grégoire and Thomas Verhaege who established InnoSun; and Black Diamond Investments, a local BEE group, with 30% shareholding.
On the establishment of InnoSun, the Development Bank’s Head of Lending, John Mbango, said “InnoSun and Black Diamond Investments have proven to be skilled and trustworthy partners for finance. The Bank closely considers the track record of applicants, and the fact that the establishment of the Omburu photovoltaic plant proceeded smoothly and has shown its operational capacity, gave the Bank confidence.”
Mbango also said that he was pleased that the partners chose the Development Bank as the vehicle for finance, adding that they welcome additional applications from enterprises that have used Development Bank finance to good effect. This open door policy, he said, encourages reinvestment of profits in related or other areas on the part of enterprises that have proven their ability to prosper, and contribute to economic growth. Talking about solar energy in Namibia, Mbango said that on the basis of the photovoltaic projects, the Bank has developed a strong body of knowledge on the business model and technology and skills required for a solar park.
He stated that the Bank will welcome applications from other projects in the same field, as well as other renewables, subject to demand and feasibility of power purchase agreements with NamPower.
On the topic of privately-owned utilities, Mbango said this is an emerging trend in provision of services, along with public private partnerships. “The Development Bank will consider enterprise finance applications of this nature, but they have to be accompanied by firm commitments from State-Owned Enterprises and or local authorities acquiring the services of the utilities” he concluded.