The New Development Bank (NDB), just established by the five Brics countries, is to loan Eskom $180-million (about R2.57-billion) to build transmission lines to connect 500MW of renewable energy from independent power producers to the national grid.

This would reduce the country’s global-warming carbon emissions by two million tons a year, an NDB spokesperson said.

The NDB announced last week that its Board of Directors, meeting in Washington, had approved its first set of loans, totalling $811-million, to be disbursed in tranches, supporting 2 370 MW of renewable energy capacity.

Brics is an economic and political bloc comprising five emerging countries – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

NDB President Kundapur Kamath said: “This is an important milestone for the Bank and we are delighted to have met the goals and the time schedules envisioned by the leaders of the Brics countries.

“With this we embark on a journey to provide speedy assistance to projects across developing nations. We are pleased that the projects deal with green and renewable energy and hope they will act as catalysts for development in our member states.”

“In accordance with its core focus, this first set of projects being financed by NDB is in the area of green and renewable energy.

“It is estimated that the projects will collectively provide additional generation capacity of 2 370 MW of clean energy, leading to reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by nearly four million tonnes per year.

“Each loan modality is different based on project specific features and borrower preferences.
Government approvals, where necessary, will be sought as part of follow-up procedures.”

The NDB spokesperson this week added that so far four loans had been approved, to South Africa, Brazil, China and India. Many more were in the pipeline, including for Russia.

The other loans approved were to:

— Banco Nacional de Desenvolvimento Economico e Social (BNDES) in Brazil which will get a loan of $300-million for on-lending to projects for generation of 600MW additional renewable energy capacity in the country. This would avoid one million tons of carbon emission a year.

— Shanghai Lingang Hongbo New Energy Development Co in China which will get a loan in local currency equivalent to $81-million for generation of 100MW of rooftop solar power, subject to completion of domestic approval process. This would avoid 73,000 tons of carbon emission a year.

— Canara Bank, India which will get a loan of US$250 million, with a first tranche of $75-million, for on-lending to projects for generation of 500MW additional renewable energy capacity in the country. This would avoid 815,000 tons of carbon emission a year.

The spokesperson added that they would all be long-term loans for 12-20 years. – African News Agency (ANA)