Bank loan

Eskom expects $476 million loan decision from World Bank by November

CAPE TOWN, September 16 (Reuters) – South Africa’s power utility Eskom is expecting a final decision on a new $476 million loan from the World Bank to turn its coal-fired Komati power station into a renewable power plant ahead of November’s COP27 climate summit, chief executive Andre de Ruyter said. said Friday.

The money will be used for three packages, which include the dismantling of parts of the 1,000 megawatt (MW) Komati power station which currently uses only one unit to ship 125 MW of electricity when needed. , as Eskom battles its worst period of power cuts since it began more than a decade ago.

The World Bank loan is separate from the $8.5 billion financial package to help South Africa, one of the world’s biggest polluters, move away from its reliance on coal-fired power plants that provide most of its electricity needs.

“The second (package) is about repurposing, which includes 100 megawatts of solar power, 150 MW of battery storage and 40-70 MW of wind power all around Komati. The advantage, of course, is that we can use existing transmission infrastructure,” De Ruyter told reporters on the sidelines of an oil and gas conference.

The final package addresses the “fair component” and helps minimize the impact on employees and contractors in the coal value chain, he said.

Located in Mpumalanga midway between Middelburg and Bethel, Komati was first put into operation in 1961 and was mothballed for nearly two decades before a decision was made in 2004 to reinstate the station for help mitigate power outages.

“We were in Washington last week, really productive and positive meetings,” De Ruyter said, adding that he expected a final decision on the loan before the end of November.

Reporting by Wendell Roelf; Editing by Anait Miridzhanian and Kim Coghill

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