Eskom said on Thursday it had signed a loan agreement with the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) for R1.5-billion to extend its transmission grid along the west coast.
It is the first tranche of a R6.5-billion loan facility agreed last year.
The money will be used to pay for the Juno Gromis Project which forms part of the utility's Namaqualand strengthening phase designed to boost the power network in the Northern Cape province, to integrate renewable energy supply and finally to enable cross border electricity transmission, Eskom said.
It will include building 282 kilometres of transmission line between the Juno substation in the Western Cape and the Gromis substation in the Northern Cape. Construction is scheduled to begin in early 2019.
“This multi-tranche loan facility will contribute to Eskom’s plans to strengthen and refurbish the transmission infrastructure while diversifying our funding structures. AFD remains part of a core of longstanding partners to Eskom, and we regard the signing of this loan agreement as a formal yet symbolic gesture of a sustainable partnership in aiding Eskom to enhance the security of supply, and stabilise the power systems in South Africa. We look forward to executing future opportunities with AFD,” Eskom CEO Phakamani Hadebe said.