Business News of 2014-06-23

First Rand to invest $820 million in energy sector

The First Rand Bank of South Africa is to invest US$820 million into a power plant to be constructed at Kpone in the Greater Accra Region.

Financial documents leading to the investment in the Cen Power Kpone IPP Project will be concluded before the end of this month.

When constructed, an additional 340 megawatts will be injected into the national grid.

Disbursement

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Rand Merchant Bank (RMB) Nigeria Limited, Mr Michael Larbie, told the Daily Graphic that the money would be ready for disbursement by the close of June 2014.

He explained that the project formed part of the government’s efforts to bring on stream an additional 5,000 megawatts of power to the national grid by 2016.

Ahead of the finalisation of the financial documents, he said the Chief Executive Officer of First Rand (Global), Mr Sizwe Nxasana, had visited Ghana and participated in a number of engagements.

Ground-breaking

Mr Larbie, who described the project as a landmark for the country and the largest African private sector development project in the power sector, was upbeat that the sod-cutting ceremony would be performed later in the month for work to begin on the construction of the power plant.

The plant, Mr Larbie observed, would run on gas, light crude and diesel, and indicated that a South African company, Group 5, the project contractors, were ready to go to site to begin work.

Other projects

According to Mr Larbie, who is also the Regional Head of the RMB, the bank was also involved in other development projects in the country, including financing the Ghana Grid Company, the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority, Ghana Cocoa Board and other real estate projects.

In his opinion, the bank’s assistance to the country was a demonstration of its commitment to the development of the country.

He noted that the bank was interested in investing in other sectors of the economy aside from the energy sector.