World Bank grants second loan to Eskom

2011-10-28 08:35

The World Bank has approved an additional loan worth $250 million (about R2 billion) for Eskom’s renewable energy support programme.

The money will be used to help Eskom develop its concentrating solar power plant near Upington and its Sere wind power plant.

The $250 million loan is funded by the World Bank’s Clean Technology Fund which promotes scaled-up financing for demonstration, deployment and transfer of low-carbon technologies with significant potential for long-term greenhouse gas emissions savings.

The new loan complements an existing $260 million loan provided to Eskom in April last year. That money was also given to Eskom to help in implementing the Upington and Sere renewable energy projects.

The original $260 million was included in a $3.75 billion Eskom investment support package.

“Africa is beginning to grow and the problem of energy insecurity is dampening that growth,” said Obiageli Ezekwesili, the World Bank vice-president for the Africa region.

“By investing in these cutting edge, transformational solar and wind power projects, we are saying that Africa can lead the way in securing a clean energy future,” he said.

The loan will help Eskom implement two of the largest renewable energy projects ever attempted on the African continent.

The concentrating solar power plant is a 100MW project. The Sere wind project, which is located about 300km north of Cape Town, also has a capacity of 100MW.

Approval of the project comes as South Africa prepares to host the COP-17 meeting of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in Durban. The meeting starts on 28 November.

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