South African utility Eskom has received a R4bn (USD339m) loan from KfW – state-owend German development bank - to help modernise its power grid.
The loan will be used to connect solar and wind power plants to Eskom's power network and help to secure supply in a country that has been beset with almost daily power outages, KfW said.
"The adjustment of the energy supply is a big step for South Africa away from dependency on coal towards a more sustainable electricity generation," Norbert Kloppenburg, a management board member at KfW, said in a statement.
Although most loans are paid out in euros or dollars, this one was disbursed in rand, making it the biggest single credit ever granted by the German bank in a local currency to any developing or emerging nation.
The financial assistance is meant to help South Africa make a quantum leap towards more sustainable and reliable energy supplies in a nation where power outages are a still a common phenomenon.
The money is to go primarily towards hooking up a number of green power stations to the national energy grid, enabling the country to lower its harmful CO2 emissions by 5.5 million tons annually.
KfW indicated the focus would be on integrating the Kiwano solar thermal power station in Upington and the Ingula Pumped Storage Scheme in Braamhoek.
By: Kristy Jooste