Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Bank Muamalat rolls out solar PV finance package

Islamic financier Bank Muamalat Malaysia Bhd yesterday announced the rolling out of the country’s first-ever Shariah-compliant solar photovoltaic (PV) financing scheme valued between RM20 million and RM30 million within the next 2-3 years.

Deputy CEO Musa Abdul Malek said that for the first year, the bank may disburse from RM10 million to RM15 million of the funds to 1,000 homeowners, who will be fitting their homes with solar PV systems, which will be grid connected and reap from the country’s solar PV Feed-in-Tariff (FiT) system.

However, he said the Smart Green Mortgage Solar PV FiT Plan with its design based on the murabahah structure, is a mortgage plan that does not a have a high-end margin for the bank with a mere 1% yield. “It is to make sure that people have sufficient cashflow to meet up with their own requirements,” he said.

Murabahah is an Islamic finance model that supports loans on physical objects (assets) such as property and vehicles.

Musa commented the bank’s decision to embark on this venture to offer solar PV finance packaging is in line with the Islamic philosophy to care for the environment.

The package is possibly the first such scheme available among Asean and Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) countries.

“Even in Middle East countries there is not much activity in generating solar,” he said.

Musa pointed out the package gives its customers a return on investment of up to 16% annually through its estimated average annual revenue of RM580 on the four kilowatt peak (kWp) solar PV system, depending on the installation type, size and location. The monthly income generated through this for the next 21 years will be credited directly by Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) into the homeowner’s savings/ current account maintained with Bank Muamalat.

The plan is in line with the implementation of the FiT mechanism introduced under the Renewable Energy Act 2011 and administered by Sustainable Development Authority Malaysia (SEDA), enabling Malaysians to generate electricity from renewable resources while earning a fixed income for up to 21 years by selling electricity to TNB’s grid.

The Bank Muamalat package for solar PV is the second in the Malaysian market after Alliance Bank announced its solar financing package in June.

According to SEDA Malaysia CEO Badriyah Malek, another four banks are currently in discussion with the authorities and are expected to follow suit in introducing similar packages soon.

Badriyah and Musa spoke to the media after the launch of the Bank Muamalat package at SEDA Malaysia office recently, together with the soft launch of SEDA Malaysia’s 2nd International Sustainable Energy Summit (ISES) 2014. Both events were inaugurated by Deputy Minister of Energy, Green Technology and Water Datuk Seri DiRaja Mahdzir Khalid.


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