Rand Merchant Bank (RMB) has underwritten US$586mn in loans for solar projects.

The non-recourse loans will fund two 75MW photovoltaic (PV) systems in South Africa and will be syndicated to a pool of South African banks, the details of which cannot yet be revealed.

They will be distributed to a consortium of three companies: US PV developer Solar Reserve, investment company Kensani and Intikon, a South African renewables developer.

Since the syndicate hasn’t yet been finalised, Dario Musso, senior transactor, infrastructure finance at RMB, was unable to confirm pricing details. He did tell GTR, however, that the loans have long tenors.

The financing is part of the first wave of renewables projects created by South Africa’s department of energy. A total of 28 projects have been selected and signed off in the past week, with RMB being involved in five of the larger deals. The second and third rounds of projects will be signed off in March and May 2013.

Musso tells GTR that the bank will be heavily involved in the next rounds of financing having committed R9bn (just over US$1bn) to round one. He says: “It’s a new sector for this geography and it’s very much a key focus within our energy and power team.”