South Africa’s Eskom To Export Electricity To Other African Countries In $23.5B Plan

Written by Kevin Mwanza

South African state-owned power utility firm Eskom is eyeing new business opportunities in the rest of Africa and would use a $23.5 billion five-year expansion plan to enter a number of African countries.

Brian Molefe, Eskom’s chief executive, said on Tuesday that the electricity producer and supplier will looking for opportunities in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mozambique and Uganda, in this financial year.

Molefe said the company would consider tapping the international market to fund its $23.5 billion expansion plan, but it was not under any pressure to do so at the moment.

“Our funding for last year is complete and most of the funding for this year is done,” Reuters  quoted him telling reporters at a press briefing. He added that timing of the fundraising will depend on market conditions.

Eskom already sells electricity to some members of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) under the the Southern African Power Pool (SAPP) agreement.

SAPP is made up of South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

“”SA, through Eskom, has been involved in the electricity sector in various countries in Africa for a long time and has utilised different forms of engagements. This has been done mainly through bilateral trading arrangements, using instruments such as power purchase and power sales agreements,” BDlive quoted Eskom saying in a statement in January.

There have been claims that Eskom has been ‘secretly’ diverting power to other countries in the region, including Botswana and Zimbabwe, to help them with their supply crisis, while South Africans face rolling blackouts.

The power utility company has been struggling with power shortages due to an  aging power grid and had to initiate load-shedding last year as it upgraded some production plants.

It also denied that it was involved in any undercover deals and said its electricity agreements with other African countries would not affect its primary commitment to the domestic market, HeralLIVE reported.