Johannesburg, South Africa — ESI-AFRICA.COM — 01 June 2011 – South African national state power utility Eskom Holdings Limited has been granted a US$365 million loan from the African Development Bank to help fund the establishment of wind and solar plants in the country.
Revealing this to lawmakers here, public enterprises minister Malusi Gigaba said the plants would each produce 100MW of power and help South Africa meet its commitment toward providing more clean energy.
Eskom currently has 40,000MW of capacity, more than 80% of which comes from coal-fired plants. The utility, which supplies about 95% of South Africa’s electricity, was given a US$3.75 billion World Bank loan in April last year to fund expansion on condition it introduced renewable energy projects.
“Eskom has incorporated renewable energy projects into its build programme,” for which is seeking to tap additional sources of funding,’” Gigaba said. “Eskom has submitted a US$250 million loan application to the World Bank for funding from the Clean Technology Fund, the final outcome of which is expected later this year.”
Johannesburg-based Eskom supplies power to Xstrata plc’s ferrochrome furnaces, AngloGold Ashanti Limited’s gold mines and BHP Billiton Limited’s aluminum smelters in South Africa.
The utility “’ one of the 10 largest in the world by capacity “’ will spend about R76 billion in the year through to March 2012 on an expansion plan aimed at preventing a repetition of power blackouts that hit mines, factories and cities in 2008.
Eskom won’t be able to guarantee security of supply until its new Medupi plant begins producing power in late 2012, and will have to rely on private companies to meet any shortfall, according to Gigaba.
Since April last year, Eskom has signed contracts with five independent power producers to supply it with about 373MW of power, and it has also agreed to buy 200MW of electricity from municipalities for this winter, he said.