Ramaphosa mulls green energy plan to cut Eskom’s debt payments

The plan is one of few options suggested to Ramaphosa, by a task team, to rescue Eskom.
Eskom is struggling under R440bn of debt and expected to report another loss for the financial year, but closing polluting coal plants could improve its situation. Picture: Waldo Swiegers, Bloomberg

South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa is considering whether to back a proposal to improve troubled Eskom’s debt terms by closing polluting coal plants early to make way for renewable energy.

A special purpose vehicle would lower interest rates paid by the state-owned utility by accelerating the closure of coal-fired stations, according to a person familiar with the matter who asked not to be named because the information isn’t public. The plan was submitted to Ramaphosa by a task team, which has suggested a range of options for rescuing Eskom, the person said.

The power company is struggling under R440 billion ($31 billion) of debt and expected to report another loss for the financial year. Ramaphosa said last week that his government would soon give Eskom “a significant portion” of the R230 billion it needs over the next decade to remain solvent.

Development finance institutions are interested in the Eskom debt plan, which would unlock as much as R200 billion of climate change mitigation funding at discounted interest rates, Johannesburg-based City Press reported last month, citing Grove Steyn, a member of the task team. South Africa currently generates about 90% of its electricity from coal.

© 2019 Bloomberg L.P.

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I thought so…Only divine power can protect us from Luthuli House. After the worst samples of humankind bankrupted Eksom, we look to the skies for sun and wind to come to our rescue.

Even at this late hour, the extortion is still ongoing – “Bail us out with sun and wind, or we will poison you with air pollution”.

…and I wonder whose’s companies are in line to benefit, licking their lips, when the green energy initiative finally gets momentum?

CR’s close circle of friends perhaps? The Motsepe’s & Radebe’s??

Trying to fix Eskom with price increases sounds obvious but there is no more space for increases. We are now on par with US prices per kWh

Yaa. Hey only in Africa. We have have to close coal power stations early so that we have money to pay for the 2 new coal fired power stations we are trying to build.

This is what you get when your dress or shirt size is larger than your IQ.

Who cares. There is enough potential for everyone. The main thing is to reduce coal fired boilers and reduce emissions which is destroying our only planet.

Wally Stowe

End of comments.

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