S.African clean energy project gets $497 mln in World Bank funds

JOHANNESBURG, Nov 4 (Reuters) – A South African project to decommission and repurpose one of state-owned power utility Eskom’s coal-fired power plants using renewables and batteries will get $497 million in financing from the World Bank, the bank said on Friday.

“The decommissioning and repurposing of the Komati coal-fired plant is a demonstration project that can serve as a reference on how to transition fossil-fuel assets for future projects in South Africa and around the world,” the World Bank said in a statement distributed by South Africa’s National Treasury.

Eskom’s chief executive said in September that the company expected a World Bank decision on the funding before this month’s COP27 climate summit.

The money is separate from a $8.5 billion financial package on offer from wealthy countries to help South Africa reduce its carbon emissions, which are among the world’s highest because it depends on coal for the bulk of its electricity generation.

The World Bank’s statement said the $497 million funding was made up of a $439.5 million World Bank loan, a $47.5 million concessional loan from the Canadian Clean Energy and Forest Climate Facility and a $10 million grant from the Energy Sector Management Assistance Program.

Reporting by Bhargav Acharya and Alexander Winning

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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