December 28, 2009 / 9:46 AM / 10 years ago

Eskom signs 1.18 bln euro loans with French banks

Electricity pylons carry power from South Africa's Koeberg nuclear power plantm, July 17, 2009. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings

JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - South African power utility Eskom said on Monday it had signed credit agency loans totalling 1.185 billion euros with five French banks to fund turbines for its Medupi and Kusile power stations.

The banks are BNP Paribas, Calyon, Societe Generale, Natixis and CIC.

“This fixed interest rate loan, covered by COFACE, the French Export Credit Agency, will be used to fund part of the eligible foreign content of the Medupi and Kusile turbine contracts with Alstom S & E Africa (Pty) Ltd,” Eskom said in a statement.

The loan is repayable over 12 years after the commissioning of the relevant units of the two power plants, the utility said.

This month Eskom, which is struggling to raise funds for an ambitious 385 billion rand power expansion programme, said it had already signed export credit agency loans totalling 705 million euros with three South African banks and four international ones to help pay for Kusile.

The utility said last month delays in signing some contracts for the coal-fired power station would result in the plant’s first unit being commissioned later than the original 2013 date.

Kusile and Medupi, both expected to supply some 4,800 MW, are Eskom’s first new baseload power plants in more than two decades, with Medupi’s first unit to be commissioned by April 2012.

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