Investing in renewable energy
The World Bank estimates that just over 60% of sub-Saharan Africa’s population is without access to electricity.
Access to reliable and affordable energy is a pre-condition for addressing a broad range of challenges, including access to healthcare, access to education, food security, economic growth and job creation. Renewable energy technologies offer cost-effective and sustainable solutions. We invested in 435 MW of renewable energy in South Africa and 37 MW in Namibia in 2018.
Since 2012, an estimated 984 900 equivalent homes have received renewable power from Standard Bank financed projects in South Africa.
435 MW of renewable energy added to South Africa’s energy supply, providing reliable and affordable energy for local communities and creating jobs.
37 MW of solar power added to Namibia’s grid, increasing energy capacity by 7%, avoiding emissions of 33 000 metric tonnes of CO2 equivalent every year, reducing dependence on regional power imports, and bringing down the cost of electricity for consumers.
Energy projects financed by Standard Bank since 2012
Standard Bank provided finance for six green energy projects in South Africa in 2018:
- Standard Bank was the mandated lead arranger, underwriter and hedge provider for the 33 MW Wesley-Ciskei wind project facility in the Eastern Cape. The project is run by the Riverbank Wind Power consortium, comprising EDF Renewables, Telagystix, Uncedo Lwethu Winds of Change, a group of black small-scale farmers with a 5% shareholding, and Riverbank Winds of Change BEE company, which benefits the local communities living within 50 km of the project, with a 12.5% shareholding. The project secured a 20-year power purchase agreement with Eskom under Round 4 of South Africa’s REIPPP, in April 2018. Construction will begin in December 2019 and production in June 2021.
- Standard Bank was the sole mandated lead arranger and underwriter for the three Scatec Solar projects procured under Round 4 of South Africa’s REIPPP, each of which will deliver three 75 MW projects to the grid under a 20-year power purchase agreement with Eskom. Standard Bank also provided long-dated interest rate and currency hedges to minimise risk to Eskom, and brought Liberty Group, Prescient Investment Management, Sanlam Capital Markets and Development Bank of Southern Africa on board as additional lenders.
- Standard Bank participated in financing for the 102 MW Copperton wind farm facility in the Northern Cape. The project is being constructed by Nordex Energy South Africa and Raubex Infra and will be operated by Elawan Energy. The wind facility has a minimum 10% BBBEE shareholding, with 5% held by the Copperton Community Trust. The project is currently under construction, with operations scheduled to commence by the end of 2020. The project secured a 20- year power purchase agreement with Eskom under Round 4 of South Africa’s REIPPP. Local communities will benefit from job opportunities associated with the project, in addition to direct shareholding in the facility.
- Standard Bank and DBSA were mandated lead arrangers for the financing of the 75 MW Solar Capital Orange photovoltaic project. The project was awarded under the Round 4 of the SA REIPP programme and will be located close to Loeriesfontein in the Northern Cape. As with the other Round 4 projects, grid connection is delayed and as such construction is expected to commence in April 2019. Sterling and Wilson will provide the engineering, procurement and construction services as well as the operations and maintenance programme, with management services provided by Solar Capital.
In Namibia, Standard Bank partnered with Proparco, a French development finance institution, to develop the funding structure for the 37 MW Mariental solar photovoltaic plant. Stanbic Namibia was the co-mandated lead arranger and underwriter with Proparco. The plant is the first large-scale independent power producer project in Namibia, and one of the largest photovoltaic plants in Africa outside South Africa. It will increase Namibia’s generation capacity by 5%, generating 120 000 MW hours per year for over 25 years, and avoid emission of 33 000 metric tonnes of CO2 equivalent every year. It will also reduce Namibia’s dependence of regional power imports and contribute towards Namibia’s long-term vision to be a self-sufficient solar power generator. Standard Bank’s strong in-country balance sheet enabled Proparco to denominate and assume credit risk in local currency, significantly reducing the quantum of risk. Reduced risk costs, together with competitive terms secured under the long-term electricity sale agreement, ensure consumers will pay less for their electricity per kilowatt hour, compared to current Namibian rates. The innovative use of local currency lending also has the potential to deepen African capital markets by developing new mechanisms to use African savings and capital to drive African growth.
Standard Bank undertook an environmental and social (E&S) risk due diligence on Alten Solar Power (Hardap) Proprietary Ltd, the consortium selected to construct the plant, prior to the pre-credit application. We reviewed the project’s environmental and social impact assessment and commissioned an independent environmental audit against IFC performance standards. On the basis of gaps identified in the audit, Alten developed a comprehensive Environmental and Social Management System (ESMS) for the project. This included specific commitments applicable to pre-construction, and during construction and operation. Quarterly independent E&S audits were carried out during construction to ensure compliance with the IFC performance standards, ESMS and specific commitments of the financing. The main concerns related to the construction phase included labour recruitment and accommodation. Audit findings were addressed with corrective action plans, which were followed up to ensure implementation. An independent audit will be undertaken during the first year of operation to further ensure E&S compliance. Ongoing monitoring and annual reporting will continue for the tenor of the transaction.
In Ghana, Standard Bank and ICBC were part of a consortium, led by the International Finance Corporation, to arrange finance for Phase I of Ghana’s new container terminal at Tema Port. The expansion of the terminal will be one of the largest infrastructure projects ever undertaken in Ghana and will establish Ghana as a leading maritime hub in West Africa. Phase 1 includes construction of a quay with three container berths, creating a 92 ha yard, constructing a breakwater and dredging an access channel, harbour basin, and other maritime access infrastructure. Upon completion of this phase, the new facility is expected to have an annual capacity of one million containers and be able to service some of the world’s largest container ships. Work began in October 2016 and is scheduled for completion during 2019.
Standard Bank is also working with Meridian Port Services to improve the efficiency of the port, implementing paperless transactions with the introduction of the MPS Pay Gate web portal. This will greatly improve efficiency and costeffectiveness for port users, cutting time and cost of cross-border trade. Stanbic Ghana is developing the e-payment portion of the portal, ensuring full compliance with data protection regulations and security for users.uring full compliance with data protection regulations and security for users.