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Tunis, 26 November 2009 - The African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved €1.86 billion (UA 1.70 billion) loan for South Africa’s energy utility company, Eskom Holdings Limited, to finance a power project that will significantly boost the energy capacity of South Africa and the southern African region.
AfDB President Donald Kaberuka commenting on the conclusion of this operation said: “South Africa's energy problem has been a major impediment to Africa’s leading economy. The Bank is pleased to be associated with this project. We look forward to working with South Africa towards achieving energy security. This operation should be seen in the context of the Bank ongoing efforts to help Africa bridge the infrastructure gap.”
The Medupi plant located in Lephalale, Limpopo Province, is expected to be commissioned by February 2012.
Besides Medupi, Eskom is working on a number of renewable energy programmes including a pilot wind farm in the Western Cape, a 100 MW heliostat pre-feasibility tower-type solar power plant, and a 100 MW wind farm feasibility study. Eskom is also pursuing a demand-side energy conservation program aimed at saving 4,225 MW of electricity.
The total cost of the project is estimated at €11.19 billion, and will be financed with 53% equity and 47% by loans, with the World Bank and the export credit agencies as co-lenders with AfDB.
The Bank Group’s operations in South Africa commenced in 1997, and as at the end of August 2009, the Bank had approved sixteen operations, with a total commitment of UA 1,073.87 million. Ongoing operations as at end August 2009 amounted to UA 737.04 million, with a disbursement rate of 80 percent.
* 1 UA (Units of Account) = US$ 1.59 as at 25/11/2009