The Development Bank of Namibia (DBN) has confirmed that it has provided finance for another solar generation facility, Osona Sun Energy, located near Okahandja. The plant, which is nearing completion, will provide a capacity of 4,5 MW.
The plant will operate on the basis of a power purchase agreement (PPA) with NamPower. It was developed by InnoSun, that also constructed the Omburu photovoltaic park, and it is owned by a consortium of investors comprised of InnoSun, led father and son team Grégoire and Thomas Verhaege who established InnoSun, and Black Diamond Investments, a local BEE group, that holds a 30 percent share in the company.
Talking about the establishment of InnoSun, DBN head of lending John Mbango said InnoSun and Black Diamond Investments have proven to be skilled and trustworthy partners for finance. The bank, he says, 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 the confidence to proceed with further investments in this line.
Mbango also said he was pleased that the partners chose DBN as the vehicle for finance. He went on to say that DBN welcomes additional applications from enterprises that have used DBN finance to good effect. This open door policy, he says, encourages reinvestment of profits in related or other areas on the part of enterprises that have proven their ability to prosper, and contribute to Namibia’s economic growth.
Regarding solar energy in Namibia, Mbango said on the basis of the existing photovoltaic projects, DBN developed a strong body of knowledge on the business model and technology and skills required for a solar park. He says the bank will welcome applications from other projects in the same field, as well as other renewables, subject to demand and the feasibility of PPAs 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. He concludes by stating that DBN will consider enterprise finance applications of this nature, but they have to be accompanied by firm commitments from SOEs and/or local authorities acquiring the services of utilities.