The head of South Africa’s state power utility held discussions with the World Bank as it explores options for transitioning from coal-fired stations to cleaner sources of energy.
Eskom CEO André de Ruyter travelled to the bank’s headquarters for the talks earlier this week. The utility supplies more than 90% of the country’s electricity, the bulk of it from coal.
“The Eskom CEO visit was part of ongoing engagement that the bank carries out with counterparts in-country and in Washington, DC, including on proposed projects,” though none has been finalised, a spokesman for the lender said in an e-mailed response to questions. The utility didn’t immediately reply to an e-mail seeking comment.
The US, UK, France, Germany and the European Union pledged US$8.5-billion (R128-billion) to help South Africa reduce its reliance on coal at the Cop26 climate summit in Glasgow in November, a deal that could serve as a prototype for helping other coal-dependent nations decarbonise. Details of how the funds will be used are still under discussion.
The World Bank has supported earlier Eskom projects including granting it a $3.75-billion loan in 2010 for Medupi, a 4.8GW coal-fired station. It’s also administrating a $250-million loan from the Clean Technology Fund to finance a battery-storage programme, the bank said in September. — (c) 2022 Bloomberg LP