Construction underway
at Kusile power station
 
Johannesburg, South Africa — ESI-AFRICA.COM — 02 June 2011 – More than three-quarters of the R300 billion Eskom needs for its capital expansion programme has been secured, the national power utility has revealed.

This is seen as an indication that Eskom has put behind it the financial woes of its build programme. At the height of its financial problems, the utility had considered bringing in private investors for its Kusile coal-fired power station at Emalahleni in Mpumalanga.

Now Eskom has announced that it has secured more funding for Kusile through a R5.7 billion loan from the Export Import Bank of the United States. Ex-Im Bank is an independent US federal agency which provides financing for US exports of goods and services.

The loan will be used to buy plant engineering and construction management services for Kusile.
It would add to the R31billion in export credit agency-backed finance which Eskom has already raised. Final details of the deal are still to be negotiated.

The first unit of the 4 800MW Kusile plant is scheduled for commissioning in late 2014.

“We are pleased with the decision by the Ex-Im Bank board to approve financing which will help to build Eskom’s Kusile power station,” said Eskom financial director Paul O’Flaherty.
“This is a statement of confidence by the US agency in Eskom, and in South Africa, and an acknowledgement of the criticality of clean coal in Eskom’s fleet.”