Eskom seeks cheap funding for R400-billion energy plan

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Picture:  Bloomberg
Picture: Bloomberg
Bloomberg

Eskom Holdings is proposing a "highly concessional" financing plan to help build about R400 billion of energy infrastructure to help the power utility move away from the use of coal, according to company’s energy transition head.

Eskom is proposing a "multi-tranche, multi-year facility" that would have funds advanced on a pay-for-performance basis as progress is made, Mandy Rambharos, the head of Eskom’s Just Energy Transition department, said in a presentation on Thursday.

The US, UK, France, Germany and the broader European Union have indicated interest in supporting the plan.

Gas infrastructure that Eskom has outlined as part of replacing its coal capacity could include a 3 000-megawatt plant in Richards Bay on the north-east coast and a 1 000-megawatt plant as part of a repurposing of the coal-fired Komati power station.   

The use of gas is "not my favourite option", Rambharos said, and would be used as a stopgap as renewable energy and battery storage improves.

It could potentially be switched for hydrogen in a decade, Rambharos added.

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