Eskom Seeks Cheap Funding For $27 Billion Energy Plan
(Bloomberg) -- Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd. is proposing a “highly concessional” financing plan to help build about 400 billion rand ($27 billion) of energy infrastructure as the South African utility shifts away from using coal, its head of energy transition said.
The company 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, head of Eskom’s Just Energy Transition department, said in a presentation on Thursday.
The utility listed about 200 billion rand of funding needed for generation to support the transition, including shovel-ready solar projects that could be installed at a third of its 15 coal-powered stations within two years. Potential gas infrastructure includes 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.
While Eskom says funders have indicated support for its funding plan, that doesn’t necessarily apply to the gas aspect of the build.
The use of gas is “not my favorite option” and would be used as a stop gap as renewable energy and battery storage improves and could potentially be switched for hydrogen in a decade, Rambharos said.
About 45 billion rand in distribution infrastructure, including micro grids, and 120 billion rand in transmission equipment, as well as transformers, is also needed, the utility said.
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