Komati Power Station in South Africa will be ‘repurposed’ following a USD 497 million loan from the World Bank.
Komati Power Station in South Africa will be ‘repurposed’ following The World Bank’s approval of a USD 497 million (approx. ZAR 9 billion) concessional loan facility to South African electricity utility Eskom. Of this amount, USD 47.5 million is from the Canadian Clean Energy and Forest Climate Facility Loan. Having commenced service in 1966, the last operating unit of Komati (121 MW) was shut down and ceased operations at the end of October 2022.
This follows successful meetings held over the past two months in Washington DC by Eskom and World Bank executives, including Managing Director Alexel van Trotsenburg, South Africa’s representative and alternate executive director, Ayanda Dlodlo, as well as Victoria Kwakwa, Vice President: Africa.
Komati Power Station
The loan facility covers three main components: decommissioning Komati, and repurposing and repowering the station and other elements of the Just Energy Transition (JET), including provision for training Eskom employees, community development and stakeholder initiatives.
The first phase of the repurposing sees installation of 150 MW of photovoltaic, 70 MW wind generating capacity, and 150 MW of Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) and synchronous condenser.
The project has been approved by the Eskom board and the loan will be guaranteed by the National Treasury. “This is a significant development as it brings the much-needed funding to enable Eskom to train its employees and members of the host communities to empower them to continue playing a central role in the provision of clean energy for the country,” said Mpho Makwana, Chairman of the Eskom board.
Developing renewable skills
Eskom and the South African Renewable Energy Technology Centre (SARETEC) recently signed an agreement to formalize their collaboration to develop renewable energy artisan skills to support implementation of the JET.
“This is in line with Eskom’s drive to ensure that we prepare our people and have a pipeline of local skills ready for the JET,” said Eskom Chief Executive André de Ruyter. “Given the accelerated global movement towards investment in a clean energy transition, there is a need in South Africa to upskill, retrain and develop a workforce to take full advantage of the opportunities presented by this transition. To achieve this, Eskom is working with its recognized labor unions and representatives of the host community.”