The African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved a $217.9 million loan to state-owned Eskom towards the upgrade and expansion of its transmission facilities.
AfDB’s funding will support the Eskom Transmission Improvement Project, which will see the construction of 555km of 400kV transmission lines in KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga. The loan will also be used to upgrade substation equipment and improve substation earth mats in Mpumalanga.
While the loan amount is $217.9m, an additional co-financing of $25 million will come from the Africa Growing Together Fund. The AfDB’s contribution, covered by a South African government guarantee, will finance up to 77 percent of the critical project. Eskom will provide 15 percent.
The upgrade to the transmission lines will provide additional power evacuation paths for new generation capacity to ensure availability of power for future load growth. Additionally, it will also enable the reduction of network losses and ensure the safety of personnel and assets during network operations.
AfDB’s loan will also help with the provision of additional power evacuation paths t to the network from the Kusile, Majuba, Drakensberg and Ingula power stations.