Terence Gregory. Picture: FINANCIAL MAIL/FREDDY MAVUNDA
Terence Gregory. Picture: FINANCIAL MAIL/FREDDY MAVUNDA

JSE-listed financial services group Ecsponent plans to build a renewable energy division as it eyes attractive returns on solar power projects, says CEO Terence Gregory.

The small-cap firm is seeking shareholder approval for the acquisition of Gaborone-based Invest Solar Africa, which plans to list on the Botswana Stock Exchange.

Invest Solar Africa is constructing solar parks in Zimbabwe that could generate as much as 300MW of power once complete, Gregory said.

Through an offtake agreement with that government, the plants would supply power to the national grid at substantially better rates than Zimbabwe’s current offtake agreement with SA's Eskom.

A project on 40ha of land in the Bwoni Village, southwest of Harare, will cost $23m (R333m). Old Mutual Asset Management Zimbabwe had contributed $7m towards the project while Norsad Finance had provided funding worth $5m.

Invest Solar Africa is also conducting a feasibility study for a project in Botswana.

Gregory said the renewable energy segment has become attractive as projects could now reach break-even after just five years, while maintenance costs are low.

Ecsponent is also in talks with the UN’s Green Climate Fund to become an accredited entity for the global body. Accredited entities develop funding proposals and manage projects.

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