Oliver Kazunga, Acting Business Editor
THE African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved US$20 million funding facility to support renewable energy and resource efficient infrastructure projects in Sub-Saharan Africa.
By virtue of being in the Sub-Saharan region, Zimbabwe, which since 2010 has approved over 70 Independent Power Projects (IPPs) most of which were failing to take off largely because of financial constraints, stand a chance of benefiting from the facility.
AfDB said the funding will contribute to production of 178,5 megawatts of renewable power for commercial and residential use.
“The board of directors of the African Development Bank has approved a US$20 million investment in the Metier Sustainable Capital International Fund II, which channels funds to renewable energy and resource-efficient infrastructure projects across Sub-Saharan Africa,” said AfDB.
“The bank’s funding will contribute to production of an additional 178,5MW of renewable power for commercial and residential use.
“It will also create opportunities for industrial waste water treatment and waste-to-energy generation.”
It is hoped that the fund would meet the bank’s strict environment and safeguard standards to ensure potential risks are adequately mitigated.
Highlighting the relevance of the project, AfDB’s acting vice president for power, energy, climate change and green growth, Mr Wale Shonibare was quoted as saying:
“Metier has extensive experience in developing and financing renewable energy projects with strong technical partners and co-developers in Southern Africa.
“We are pleased to join other investors in supporting their expansion into new African markets to help unlock the vast renewable potential of the continent.”
He said the investment was part of AfDB’s efforts to alleviate financing constraints in the renewable energy sector.
Metier is a well-established fund manager with a track record of deploying more than US$550 million in African countries, including solar, wind and hydro power projects in Southern and East Africa.
The company has been a key player in South African solar power, a maturing technology that offers significant benefits in terms of storage and dispatchability to the grid, unlike traditional photovoltaic options.
“We embrace the strong synergies between the mandate of the AFDB and Metier Sustainable Capital Fund II.
“We look forward to jointly delivering a portfolio of clean energy and resource efficient investments,” said Metier Sustainable Capital managing principal Mr Marc Immerman.