25 June 2014

AfDB to Finance Its First Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Project in South Africa

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On 23 June 2014, The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank (AfDB) approved a senior loan of USD 142 million, including a USD 41.5 million concessional financing from the Clean Technology Fund (CTF), to finance the construction of the 100 MW concentrated solar power (CSP) plant XiNa in South Africa. The XiNa Solar One project is the first renewable energy Independent Power Producer (IPP) and the first private sector Clean Technology Fund (CTF) that the AfDB has financed in South Africa.

The Project cost is estimated at USD 908 million (ZAR 9,538 billion equivalent). Senior debt will be financed by the AfDB, and other Development Finance Institutions as well as three South African commercial banks.

XiNa is a 100 MW CSP plant using parabolic trough technology and a superheated steam cycle with a storage capacity of 1,650 MWh (equivalent to approximately 5 hours full load storage), configured to partially cover the South African peak load demand. This facility is located in the Northern Cape Province, South Africa and it shall be interconnected by the Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) by a 3km transmission line to a nearby existing substation.

This project aligns well with both internal and external policies and strategies. From South Africa's perspective, the project supports the Government's energy strategy that emphasizes the diversification of energy sources as set out in the National Integrated Resource Plan (2010 - 2030). XiNa will support the country's ambitious target to reduce its huge dependence on coal fired power plants increase access to clean power, and reduce the peak power generation costs.

The AfDB's perspective will play an important role by providing much needed long-term finance, enforcing environmental and social standards and working to enhance the development impact of the Project. The project well aligns with the green and inclusive growth objectives of the AfDB's Ten Year Strategy. It also caters to the Ten Year Strategy's core priority areas, such as infrastructure development and private sector development by generating additional power capacity and crowding in private sector financing. Finally, the project is fully aligned with the AfDB's Country Strategy Paper for South Africa which aims to support the country's infrastructure development in the area of clean energy.

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