By M&M Reporter
The African Development Bank has approved a ZAR 2.886 billion (US$217.9 million ) loan to South Africa’s power utility Eskom Holdings Ltd, towards the upgrade and expansion of its transmission facilities.
In a statement released yesterday, the bank said the funds will support Eskom’s Transmission Improvement Project (ETIP), which will see the construction of 555km of 400kV transmission lines in KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga province and the upgrading of substation equipment and improvement of various substation earth mats in Mpumalanga.
“The transmission lines will provide additional power evacuation paths for new generation capacity, ensure availability of power for future load growth, enable the reduction of network losses and ensure safety of personnel and assets during network operations to ensure compliance to the Grid Code,” said AfDB.
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. It will also benefit the utility’s corporate restructuring and governance program.
The loan, which was approved by the Bank’s board on Tuesday 25 September, includes an additional co-financing of US$25 million from the Africa Growing Together Fund (AGTF). The Bank’s contribution, covered by a South African Government guarantee, will finance up to 77 percent of the critical project. Eskom will provide 15 percent.
These investments 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.
Eskom operates which comprises 157 transmission substations and approximately 31,107km of transmission lines and 160 distribution substations, totaling 139,610MVA of installed transformer capacity. The utility contributes approximately 77 percent of the total installed power capacity in the Southern Africa Power Pool (SAPP) and makes up approximately 80 percent of the regional power demand.