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Mergence’s investment in Namibian solar plant signals further localisation

14th June 2019 BY: Tasneem Bulbulia
Creamer Media Reporter

Local asset manager Mergence Unlisted Investment Managers (Namibia) has bought a majority stake in the 6 MW Momentous Solar One plant, near Keetmanshoop, in Namibia.

“The purchase of a majority stake in the Keetmanshoop project signals a positive trend to localisation of the industry – a solar plant owned by Namibians for Namibians,” says Mergence portfolio manager Hileni Nghinaunye.

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 The project stake bought from Nasdaq-listed Canadian Solar will be held in the Mergence Namibia Infrastructure Fund Trust on behalf of the Namibian Government Institutions Pension Fund (GIPF).

Local company, MTJ Investments, has a 30% stake in the plant which has been refinanced by loans from Mergence, Nghinaunye.

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The restructuring of MTJ’s funding by Mergence Namibia makes provision for earlier returns to MTJ Investments, allowing MTJ to more fully participate 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.” 

Momentous Solar One is the first project developed by Canadian Solar in Africa.

It is the third project in Namibia in which Mergence will hold a stake, the first two being the Ejuva 1 and 2 plants in Gobabis which were officially opened in August 2018.

Momentous will provide solar power generation for 25 years under the Namibian government’s Renewable Energy Feed-In Tariff programme, at a rate of N$1.37/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 about 14 800 MWh/y of clean energy.

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. 

EDITED BY: Chanel de Bruyn Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online
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