Majuba power station
“’ one of Eskom’s many
coal-fired plants
 
Johannesburg, South Africa — ESI-AFRICA.COM — 04 November 2010 – Eskom is to sign a R15 billion loan agreement with the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) in a development which will assist the South African power utility fund part of its capital expansion programme.

Revealing this in a statement here, Eskom said the funds would be disbursed over a five-year period during which time South Africa expected to face a power crunch due to rising power demand in the country. It said the financing deal would be signed today.

The government has stated that South Africa plans to spend R800 billion in the next few years to expand power infrastructure.

“This loan facility is expected to increase the base-load generating capacity to keep up with growing demand, while generating a combined total output of approximately 9 000 megawatts,” Eskom said in the statement.

A 2008 power crisis shut down mines and other industries, costing billions of dollars in lost output, and Reuters reports that officials have warned of rolling blackouts from 2011 to 2016 unless extraordinary measures are taken to generate more power.

Eskom supplies 95% of the country’s power and 45% of Africa’s electricity, most of which is generated in coal-fired plants built more than two decades ago.