The 4th Annual Meeting of the NDB Board of Governors (BoG) and the 18th Meeting of the NDB Board of Directors (BoD) were held in Cape Town, South Africa on 31 March and 1 April 2019 respectively. At the meetings, members of the Boards noted the achievements of the Bank, including expansion of its business, significant growth of loan portfolio as well as the ramp-up of the NDB’s borrowings. The Board of Governors also provided guidance for the Bank’s future work.
The 4th Annual Meeting of the NDB BoG was chaired by Mr. Tito Titus Mboweni, Governor of the NDB, and Minister of Finance of the Republic of South Africa.
Mr. Paulo Guedes, Governor of NDB, Minister of Economy of Brazil was elected as the next Chairman of the BoG, and will serve in this position until the end of the next BoG Annual Meeting. It was also decided that the next Annual Meeting of the Bank’s BoG will be held in Brazil in 2020.
The Governors approved the Audited Financial Statements for the year ended December 31, 2018 and also approved the Condensed Unaudited Financial Statements for the NDB Project Preparation Fund for the year ended December 31, 2018.
The Governors appreciated that the Bank’s loan portfolio had risen to approx. USD 8.1 billion in 2018. As a part of this commitment, the Bank’s Board of Directors approved loans worth approx. USD 1.2 billion during their 18th Meeting on 31 March 2019. Five projects approved during the 18th BoD Meeting bring the total amount of the Bank’s portfolio to over USD 9.2 billion.
The following projects were approved during the 18th BoD Meeting:
The Bank will provide a RMB 825 million (approx. USD 123 million) project loan to the People’s Republic of China for Zhejiang Green Urban Project – Shengzhou Urban and Rural Integrated Water Supply and Sanitation Project (Phase II). The project is aimed at upgrading the urban and rural water supply and sewage facilities and enhancing the economic efficiency of water resources and the effectiveness of water management system in Shengzhou, a municipality in Zhejiang Province in China. The Shengzhou municipality has been facing challenges in water supply and sanitation services. The components of the proposed project include (i) construction of water supply plants and pipelines; (ii) construction of sewage treatment plants and pipelines; (iii) smart digital center for water management; and (iv) capacity building and project management.
The Bank will provide a USD 300 million project loan to the People’s Republic of China for Guangxi Chongzuo Urban Water System Ecological Restoration Project. The project is aimed at the improvement of urban water systems, restoration of the ecological balance and enhancing flood protection in Chongzuo, a city located in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. The contents of the proposed project include (i) restoration of the hydraulic circulation of lakes, rivers, wetlands, and channels; (ii) ecological restoration of water adjacent area; (iii) development of water ecological environment monitoring, control and management system; and (iv) capacity building.
In line with its focus on supporting clean energy in South Africa, the Bank will provide a USD 480 million project loan to Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd. for Environmental Protection Project for Medupi Thermal Power Plant (TPP). The loan will be used to finance retrofitting flue-gas desulfurization equipment, to make Medupi TPP compliant with South Africa’s environmental standards coming into force, thus preventing suspension of its operation. Medupi TPP is approaching the end of its construction, and with the planned capacity of 4,800 MW it will represent around 10% of the total generating capacity in South Africa. This would position Medupi TPP as a critical element of the solution to the problem with reliable electricity supplies.
The proceeds of the Bank’s ZAR 1.150 billion (approx. USD 80 mln) loan will be on-lent by the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) of South Africa to renewable energy sub-projects contributing to the reduction in carbon dioxide emissions, improvement of RSA’s energy sector mix, as well as the increase of energy efficiency of the economy. The NDB loan provides IDC with attractive long-term financing for the IDC’s program in renewables, focused on supporting private investors. It is planned that as an outcome of the project’s implementation not less than 500 GWh of electricity will be generated annually from renewable sources leading to savings in CO2 emissions by around 480,000 tons annually.
The NDB will provide a project loan of ZAR 3.2 billion (approx. USD 220 mln) to Trans-Caledon Tunnel Authority (TCTA) for the implementation of Phase II of Lesotho Highlands Water Project and financing the construction of water transfer infrastructure to the benefit of South Africa. The project will augment the water supply in the Vaal River Basin, home to South Africa’s most economically important province, Gauteng. Three other provinces (the North-West, Mpumalanga and Free State provinces) will also directly benefit from an increased water supply. The project will support economic growth and foster sustainable livelihoods of people by increasing the yield of the Vaal River System by almost 15% in the long run, thus reducing water usage restrictions.
The NDB was established by Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa to mobilize resources for infrastructure and sustainable development projects in BRICS and other emerging economies and developing countries, complementing the existing efforts of multilateral and regional financial institutions for global growth and development. To fulfill its purpose, the NDB will support public or private projects through loans, guarantees, equity participation and other financial instruments. According to the NDB’s General Strategy, sustainable infrastructure development is at the core of the Bank’s operational strategy for 2017-2021. In August 2018, the Bank received AA+ long-term issuer credit ratings from S&P and Fitch.