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R1.4bn deal for solar power project

Johannesburg - The Development Bank of SA (DBSA) has signed a R1.4 billion contract with the European Investment Bank (EIB) to support development of a solar power project in the Northern Cape, it said on Wednesday.

“We are encouraged by the EIB's trust and confidence towards our investment strategy in supporting SA's power generation infrastructure to improve the security of energy supply,” spokesman Jacky Mashapu in a statement.

He said the country's energy sector faced a number of problems and needed an energy mix to accelerate economic growth.

The funds would be used in the development of the !Ka Xu 100 MW concentrated solar power project in the province.

The project is one of the first private sector renewable-energy projects in the country.

“Once fully developed the !Ka Xu concentrated solar thermal plant will collect solar energy... and convert it into electricity in the steam cycle.”

The plant would have the capacity to store energy during off peak hours and dispatch it during peak hours.

Mashapu said the project was subject to the bank's environmental appraisal guidelines to ascertain its impact on the environment.

“We are confident that this investment will have positive contribution towards efforts to minimise adverse impact of energy generation on the environment, and in particular on climate change.” - Sapa

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