Eskom secures loan agreement with French development agency

South Africa’s state-owned power utility company, Eskom has signed a R1.5bn (approximately $104.5 million) loan agreement with French development agency, Agence Française de Développment (AFD).

The loan will support the extension and strengthening of its power transmission grid along the west coast.

“This loan constitutes the first tranche of a R6.5 billion (approximately $453 million) multi-trance loan facility signed between the two institutions in March 2017,” the utility said in a statement released on Thursday.

Having recently begun intermittent black outs throughout the country as a result of coal supply shortages in a number of its power stations, Eskom said the loan would contribute to the refurbishment of transmission infrastructure in order to improve the country’s network.

On behalf of the AFD, Regional Director Bruno Deprince said: “AFD’s funding to Eskom reaffirms our commitment to support the public utility’s efforts to diversify its energy mix, which will ultimately strengthen its capacity to respond to the growing energy needs of South Africa while addressing the climate change challenges attached to it. This funding also demonstrates our support to Eskom in a period of transition and recovery.”

The AFD is reviewing a number of projects in Eskom’s Transmission Development Plan.