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GIPF invests in local renewable energy, asset manager buys majority stake from NASDAQ-listed company

GIPF invests in local renewable energy, asset manager buys majority stake from NASDAQ-listed company

In a move to shake up the renewable energy sector to include Previously Disadvantaged Persons, local asset manager, Mergence Unlisted Investment Managers on behalf of the Government Institutions Pension Fund (GIPF) Thursday said that it now owns a majority stake in the 6MW Momentous Solar One plant, located near Keetmanshoop.

The deal saw the local asset manager buy shares from NASDAQ-listed Canadian Solar for an undisclosed amount.

Portfolio Manager with Mergence, Hileni Nghinaunye, said the purchase of a majority stake in the project signals a positive trend to localisation of the industry, “a solar plant owned by Namibians for Namibians”.

The shares purchased from Canadian Solar will be held in the Mergence Namibia Infrastructure Fund Trust on behalf of the GIPF, Nghinaunye added.

According to Nghinaunye, local entrepreneurs, MTJ Investments, have a 30% stake in the plant which has been refinanced by loans from Mergence.

“The restructuring of MTJ’s funding by Mergence makes provision for earlier returns to MTJ Investments allowing MTJ to participate more fully in the project. Post-acquisition, the local ownership of 30% will grow to a minimum of 86% from the investment of the Mergence Namibia Infrastructure Fund. As a sign of further localisation, accounting and reporting previously done offshore will be transferred to a local service provider,” Nghinaunye added.

Momentous Solar One, is the first project that Canadian Solar developed, energised and sold in Africa. It is the third project in Namibia in which Mergence will have a stake, the first two being the Ejuva 1 and 2 plants in Gobabis which was officially opened in August 2018.

According to Mergence, the project near Keetmanshoop will provide solar power generation for a period of 25 years under the Renewable Energy Feed-In Tariff (REFIT) programme, at the rate of N$1.37 per kWh.

The solar plant has been in commercial operation since November 2017. Powered by 18,480 Canadian Solar CS6U-325P modules, the plant will generate approximately 14,800 MWh of clean energy each year.

The Economist established through calculations at that rate, MTJ Investments can receive around N$2 million income per annum from NamPower.

Meanwhile, Mergence said Canadian Solar will provide operations and maintenance services to the plant for the immediate future.

“There will be further localisation of on-site jobs as seller responsibility for the plant winds down,” they added.


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Musa Carter

Musa Carter is a long-standing freelance contributor to the editorial team and also an active reporter. He gathers and verifies factual information regarding stories through interviews, observation and research. For the digital Economist, he promotes targeted content through various social networking sites such as the Economist facebook page (/Nameconomist/) and Twitter.

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.