Metalworkers fund sets up R1bn renewables debt facility

Terence Creamer | 24th April 2013 | Engineering News

The Metal Industries Benefit Funds Administrators (Mibfa) has confirmed that it will commit up to R1-billion for the provision of debt finance for projects participating in South Africa’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPPP).

The funds will be administered by black-owned asset manager Mergence Investment Managers, which has established the Mergence Renewable Energy Debt Fund.

Mibfa represents the interests of over 400 000 members in the Engineering Industries Pension Fund and Metal Industries Provident Fund, which collectively have assets worth more than R90-billion.

Mibfa principal officer Omar Gire says the fund is aligned with its socially responsible investing objectives, but will also clear targeted investment return thresholds.

Mergence Investment specialises in ‘impact investing’, which involves generating financial returns while also addressing environmental, social and governance objectives.

Mergence portfolio manager Mark van Wyk says the fund will be applied to projects that had high levels of community ownership and local content, while also supporting job creation and skills development.

The financial-close deadline for the 19 second-bid-window REIPPPP projects, which collectively represent 1 043.9 MW of capacity and an investment value of around R28-billion, has been set for early May.

During the first bid window, 1 415 MW was allocated to 28 wind and solar projects, which are currently under construction.

The request for proposals for the third bid window has been delayed, but is expected to be released soon.

Edited by: Creamer Media Reporter

SOURCE: http://www.engineeringnews.co.za/article/metalworkers-fund-sets-up-r1bn-renewables-debt-facility-2013-04-24

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