Home South African Ramokgopa says there is funding for expansion of transmission lines

Ramokgopa says there is funding for expansion of transmission lines

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Minister of Electricity Kgosientsho Ramokgopa wants South Africa to ramp up the expansion of the 14,000km of transmission lines. They want to expand transmission lines in the Eastern Cape, Northern Cape and Western Cape.

Minister of Electricity Kgosientsho Ramokgopa. File picture: GCIS

MINISTER of Electricity Kgosientsho Ramokgopa said the issue of financing the grid expansion is not a problem, but the key question is how they will access the funding.

He said in the next two weeks he will outline the plan for the work they have done on the grid expansion and accessing funding for the project.

Ramokgopa wants South Africa to ramp up the expansion of the 14,000km of transmission lines. They want to expand transmission lines in the Eastern Cape, Northern Cape and Western Cape.

The transmission lines are concentrated in the north-eastern part of the country because that is where most of the power stations are located.

Ramokgopa was on Monday briefing the media on the state of energy in the country.

He said Eskom has already set aside R400 billion to expand transmission lines. He said the Just Energy Transition Investment Plan (JET-IP) will make available another R200bn.

He added that they were also looking at other investors who will finance South Africa’s transmission lines.

He noted that they were not sitting with a money problem, but rather how they were going to access it.

Ramokgopa said there were opportunities to expand transmission lines in the coastal provinces of the Eastern Cape, Western Cape and the Northern Cape. These provinces have a number of renewable energy projects not connected to the grid.

He said the Northern Cape was endowed with quality sunlight, making it ideal for the location of renewable energy projects.

In the Western Cape and Eastern Cape, they will exploit wind speed for renewable energy projects, he said.

“We will not have a problem of money, I can quantify that money that Eskom has proposed of about R400bn. What we know, which is in the public domain, is the JET financing. You know that the JET-IP has gone up to $12bn (R231bn). That’s a significant amount of investment. There you are talking about R200bn already just from that facility. Then there are other players. They will make that public at the right time.

“We are not sitting with a money problem. We are sitting with the structural problem, how we are going to access that. We are at an advanced stage. I don’t want to release the information in bits and pieces. We must complete that information internally. I must say to the country we have been moving with speed,” said Ramokgopa.

He said they have moved with speed from the time they conceptualised this investment plan for the financing of the transmission lines in October last year.

“I am confident that in the next two weeks I will be coming back to the country to say this is how we are going to access it. We know where this money lies, it’s just the instruments of accessing it.

“There are issues around the cost of that money, whether components of it is concessional, whether components of it is grant financing. Then we know that once you have done that, you have to construct the actual lines. We are looking at engineering, procurement, construction plus financing. That is what we are looking at. Then it’s the speed of procurement.”

They will not be starting from scratch, as Eskom has already set aside R400bn for the expansion of the grid.

The government has to be more aggressive in the roll-out of transmission lines and add to what Eskom will do, said Ramokgopa.

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