S. Africa’s cash-strapped power utility gets loan from African Development Bank

Date: Sep 28, 2018

The African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved a loan of 2.886 billion rand (about 218 million U.S. dollars) to South Africa’s power utility Eskom to ensure power supply within the sub-region, Eskom sources confirmed on Thursday.

The loan will contribute to the upgrade and expansion of Eskom’s transmission facilities which are crucial to power supply within the sub-region, the sources said on condition of anonymity.

The funding supports the Eskom Transmission Improvement Project (ETIP), which will see the construction of 555km of 400 kilovolt transmission lines in KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga provinces and the upgrading of substation equipment and improvement of various substation earth mats in Mpumalanga, the AfDB said after approving the loan earlier this week.

The bank’s intervention will enable the provision of additional power evacuation paths to the network from the Kusile, Majuba, Drakensburg and Ingula power stations, and will also benefit the utility’s corporate restructuring and governance program, the bank said.

The intervention will enhance regional energy trade, end-user energy access for industrial development and address the potential addition of 130 million on-grid connections by 2025, the bank said.

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