This year, Nedbank’s share price has increased by 24 %, making it SA’s best-performing bank. They increased by 0.7 % on Friday.
Nedbank intends to nearly double its lending to green energy projects in South Africa over the next two years in order to solidify its position as a market leader in funding renewable energy projects.
According to Chief Executive Officer Mike Brown, the bank’s lending to the government’s Renewable Independent Power Producer Program, which aims to expand privately generated electricity in the country, may increase to around R50 billion ($3 billion) in the “short-to-medium term” from R29 billion.
”We would certainly have an appetite for it to go higher if client demand is more than that” Brown, 56, said in an interview on Friday. “We need masses of new energy.”
Demand for funding renewable energy projects is expected to increase after President Cyril Ramaphosa unbundled the private sector in an effort to end an energy crisis that has stifled Africa’s most industrialised economy. The government lifted the cap of 100 megawatts on private power generation, allowing businesses to produce electricity without a license to meet their own requirements and sell to the grid.
In addition, the state boosted renewable-energy procurement to 5 200 megawatts under the so-called “bid window” six contracts to help expedite the country’s transition away from a reliance on coal for more than 80% of its power and toward greener energy sources. Authorities are rushing to avoid a repetition of the recent blackouts that enraged locals after power supplier Eskom cut enough electricity to light approximately 4 million South African homes.
According to Brown, Nedbank has been a market leader in previous auction rounds. According to him, approximately 10% of Nedbank’s R1 trillion balance sheet has been advanced to initiatives that meet United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
“We absolutely think that working with advising and financing our clients as they change their energy mix and that of the countries they operate in over the next 10 to 20 years is a massive opportunity for us and one that we absolutely aim to continue to lead in,” Brown said.
Beyond South Africa, the lender sees potential in the liquefied natural gas discovered in Mozambique, despite the fact that operations in the region have been stalled owing to attacks by an Islamic State offshoot in the country’s north. Since the insurgence began in 2017, thousands of people have died and thousands have been displaced.
“I am sure all the sponsors will be re-evaluating when and how to start up again, in particular, given what’s happening globally,” Brown added. “I think it makes the LNG deposits even more attractive than they previously were if those security issues can be solved.”