The Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank of the US on Friday voted to grant preliminary approval for a $805,6-million direct loan to State-owned power utility Eskom for the construction of the Kusile power plant in Mpumulanga, with final approval expected within 35 days.
The Bank reported that the application to finance the Kusile project underwent a review that focused on aspects related to its carbon dioxide emissions, and South Africa’s long-term goals to reduce its carbon dioxide emissions.
“Eskom, as a State-owned energy enterprise, has announced its goal to significantly reduce its long-term dependence on coal by 2025,” said Ex-Im Bank in a statement.
In fiscal year 2010, which ended September 2010, Ex-Im Bank authorised a record $812-million to support exports to sub-Saharan Africa. The bank expected that financial year 2011 authorisations for the region may ultimately exceed $1,5-billion.
South Africa was one of nine countries identified by Ex-Im Bank as offering the greatest export sales opportunities to US companies. The Kusile plant would consist of six 800 MW units, for a total capacity of 4 800 MW. It is the second of two plants, the other being Medupi, constructed by Eskom to meet the country’s increasing demand for electricity.