Artist’s impression of
a boiler at the new
coal-fired Kusile
power station
 
Johannesburg, South Africa — ESI-AFRICA.COM — 30 May 2011 – South African national power utility Eskom Holdings has secured an US$805.6 million loan from the Export Import Bank of the United States for its Kusile power project in the country’s Mpumulanga province.

According to the public energy utility the loan, details of which still have to be negotiated, will add to the R31 billion in export credit agency-backed finance that Eskom has already raised. Export credit agency finance is one of the sources Eskom is tapping as part of its R300 billion funding plan for the new build programme. More than three quarters of that funding has now been secured.

Eskom says it plans to use the loan to support the purchase of engineering and construction management services from Black & Veatch International, a specialised project management and engineering firm based in Kansas, USA. Black & Veatch will retain highly-skilled senior engineers and support staff in the US to work on the Kusile project over the next five years.

The 4,800MW Kusile project “’ near Emalahleni (Witbank) in Mpumalanga “’ is the second of two new coal-fired power stations that Eskom is building to meet South Africa’s energy needs, spurred on by the energy crisis brought on by rolling blackouts in 2008. The other station is the Medupi power station near Lephalale in Limpopo.

Eskom expects the first unit of Kusile to come on-line late in 2014, with a total capacity of 4 800 MW.

“We are pleased with the decision by the Export Import Bank board to approve financing which will help to build Eskom’s Kusile power station. 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,” said the utility’s finance director Paul O’Flaherty.