JSE-listed real estate investment trust Vukile Property Fund has concluded a five-year, R200-million use-of-proceeds green loan with financial services firm Nedbank Corporate and Investment Banking, which will fund 19 solar energy projects and energy-efficiency initiatives across South Africa.
The loan will fund seven recently installed solar energy projects of R60-million.
Additionally, it will be used for eight solar farm installations that are under way, or soon to commence, at Vukile’s retail properties, together with four future solar projects, all scheduled for completion in the next 36 months at a combined cost of R140-million.
Vukile has installed 14.2 MW in solar photovoltaic (PV) power systems at 21 different projects, providing 10% of electricity consumed across its portfolio. This has contributed to a 20 500 t decrease in carbon emissions across Vukile’s portfolio.
The company plans to install another 7.4 MW of solar by end-March 2023, generating a further 5% of the portfolio’s electricity consumption through sustainable energy and further reducing its environmental impact.
“Vukile is committed to environmentally responsible investing and doubling its electricity consumption from sustainable energy projects over the next three years,” says Vukile CEO Laurence Rapp.
“We are pleased to extend our relationship with Nedbank CIB through our first green loan, which marks a significant milestone in our sustainability journey. It is a testament to the positive environmental action and impact embedded in Vukile’s business operations and planning.
“This funding will be dedicated to new on-site solar farms at retail property assets, supporting their energy-efficient and cost-efficient operations, and helping to meet the needs of our retailer tenants and shopping centres’ customers, while reducing climate impact,” says Rapp.
Further, Nedbank is proud to partner with Vukile to structure its first green loan to fund solar projects and energy efficiency initiatives, says Nedbank CIB Sustainable Finance Solutions head Arvana Singh.
“Through our property finance and sustainable finance expertise, we are creating innovative solutions for our clients to tap into and progress on their sustainability journeys. More than just a means of funding property projects, Vukile’s new green loan underscores the green built environment ethos that Vukile and Nedbank share,” she says.