Eskom to spend $23.5bn on new plants
South African power utility Eskom is not under pressure to tap international markets to help fund its R340-billion ($23.5-billion) five-year expansion plan, its chief executive said on Tuesday.
State-owned Eskom is building new plants and transmission lines to augment a power grid that nearly collapsed in 2008 and was forced to implement load shedding, early last year that dented economic growth.
“Our funding for last year is complete and most of the funding for this year is done,” Eskom CEO Brian Molefe told reporters.
“We never issue less than benchmark which is anything above $500-million, so it can be $750-million or $1-billion.”
He said the timing would depend on market conditions, adding that the successful pricing of a 10-year dollar bond by the National Treasury in April was a good sign.
Eskom is building three new power plants and expects to add 5 620 megawatts (MW) to the network by 2018.
Minister Lynne Brown told parliament that power supply had stabilised, adding that “for the longest of time South Africans have had their lights on and load shedding has become a distant memory”.
Brown said the rest of Africa was a key growth area, with Eskom eyeing new business opportunities this financial year in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mozambique and Uganda.
“Eskom coal costs have been growing above inflation levels,” she said, adding that she hoped the cost could come down.