Ombepo Wind Farm nears completion
The Ombepo Wind Farm near Lüderitz is now nearing completion according to the Development Bank of Namibia (DBN), which recently announced details of its involvement in financing the project, where the Bank finance of N$118 million was extended to develop the N$180 million wind farm.
The facility will be owned by a conglomerate consisting shareholders InnoSun (95%), and Lüderitz Town Council (5%). Empowerment grouping Black Diamond Investments owns a 30% share in InnoSun.
DBN has previously financed two InnoSun projects, Omburu Sun, which was the first photovoltaic plant to operate as an independent power producer (IPP) under a power purchaser agreement (PPA) with NamPower, and Osona Sun. The Bank has is providing finance for five photovoltaic plants, with Ombepo Wind Farm bringing the total number of renewable energy facilities to six.
The Bank’s total finance for renewable energy now stands at N$461 million. The facilities will generate an estimated 24 MW of renewable energy when all are operational.
Talking about finance for renewable energy, DBN CEO, Martin Inkumbi said the Bank views itself as catalytic in providing finance in areas that are untested for risk in the commercial finance sector, and that the Bank’s finance for renewable energy is no different.
Through its mandate to provide finance for development, and its enterprise-wide risk management framework, the Bank can successfully mitigate its risk, while demonstrating the viability of specific business models from the financing viewpoint.
This Inkumbi said was a consideration in providing the first finance for photovoltaic power production, and the Ombepo wind turbine facility. He added that the Bank does not see itself as a competitor for project financing opportunities, rather a pioneer and contributor to understanding of opportunities.
A collaborative approach to finance, Inkumbi continued, is vital to Namibia’s economic sustainability in years to come. He added that the Bank is gratified that other sources of finance are stepping into the field with finance for other photovoltaic facilities.
He also hopes that commercial sources of finance will step into other fields of interest
in which the Bank is interested, particularly manufacturing, and development of affordable land and housing.
Shared interests in addressing various issues, Inkumbi said, can lead to new sources of returns to finance, and this approach is in the spirit of the Harambee Prosperity Plan.
Asked about the specific role of renewable energy in the development of Namibia’s economy, Inkumbi said that Namibia has committed its Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC) to increase the share of renewable energy in electricity production to 70% by the year 2030.