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Eskom: World Bank approves R9 billion concessional loan facility for Komati Power Station repurposing and Just Energy Transition

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The World Bank has today approved a $497 million (approximately R9 billion) concessional loan facility to Eskom for the repurposing of Komati Power Station. Of this amount, $47.5 million is from the Canadian Clean Energy and Forest Climate Facility Loan.

This followed successful meetings held over the past two months in Washington DC by Eskom and World Bank executives that included Managing Director Alexel van Trotsenburg, South Africa’s representative and alternate executive director, Ayanda Dlodlo, as well as Victoria Kwakwa, Vice President: Africa.

The loan facility will cover three main components: decommissioning of the Komati Power Station, repurposing and repowering of the station and other elements of the Just Energy Transition, including provision for the training of Eskom employees, community development and stakeholder initiatives. The first phase of the repurposing will install 150MW of photovoltaic, 70MW wind generating capacity, 150MW of Battery Energy Storage System and synchronous condenser.

The project has been approved by the Eskom board. The loan will be guaranteed by the National Treasury.

“This is a significant development for South Africa’s Just Energy Transition to renewable energy as it brings the much-needed funding to enable Eskom to train its employees and members of the host communities to empower them to continue playing a central role in the provision of clean energy for the country,” said Mpho Makwana, Chairman of the Eskom Board.

Eskom and the South African Renewable Energy Technology Centre (SARETEC) recently signed an agreement to formalise their collaboration to develop renewable energy artisan skills, to support the implementation of the Just Energy Transition. The objective is to educate, reskill, and upskill Eskom Komati Power Station staff and qualifying beneficiaries from the surrounding communities in the Mpumalanga region.

“This is in line with Eskom’s drive to ensure that we prepare our people and have a pipeline of local skills ready for the inevitable transition, which will be just,” said Eskom Chief Executive André de Ruyter. “Given the accelerated global movement towards investment in a clean energy transition, there is a need in South Africa to upskill, retrain and develop a workforce to take full advantage of the opportunities presented by this transition. To achieve this Eskom is working with its recognised labour unions and representatives of the host community.”

Having commenced service in 1966, the last operating unit of Komati (121MW) was shut down and ceased operations at the end of October 2022.

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