Eskom Awaits $476 Million World Bank Loan Decision   

Eskom Awaits $476 Million World Bank Loan Decision   (News Central TV)

South African power utility Eskom expects a final decision on a new $476 million World Bank loan to replan its Komati coal-fired power plant into a renewable station before November’s COP27 climate summit.

Eskom’s Chief Executive Andre de Ruyter said Friday that the money will be used for three packages, which include decommissioning certain parts of the 1,000 megawatts (MW) Komati power plant that is currently only using one unit to dispatch 125 MW of power when needed, as Eskom battles its worst phase of power cuts since it started more than a decade ago.

The World Bank loan is different from the $8.5 billion financial package to help South Africa move away from its reliance on coal-fired power plants that supply the bulk of its electricity needs.

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Eskom Awaits $476 Million World Bank Loan Decision  (News Central TV) 
Eskom’s Chief Executive Andre de Ruyter

“The second one (package) is for the repurposing, which includes 100 megawatts of solar, 150 MW of battery storage, and 40 to 70 MW of wind all around Komati. The benefit, of course, is we can use existing transmission infrastructure,” De Ruyter stated.

The final package is intended to address the “just component” and help ensure that the impact for employees and contractors in the coal value chain was minimised, he said.

Situated in Mpumalanga halfway between Middelburg and Bethel, Komati was first fired up in 1961 and was abandoned for almost two decades. A decision to revive it was taken in 2004 to help improve power conditions.

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“We were in Washington last week, really productive and positive meetings,” De Ruyter said, adding that he expected a final decision on the loan before the end of November.

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