$1 Billion Funds to South Africa for Clean-Energy Plans

South Africa Clean-Energy PlansBarclays Plc’s (BARC) African corporate banking unit said it will fund almost a third of the $3.3 billion of clean-energy projects that South Africa approved last month to cut its reliance on coal.

Absa Corporate Investment Banking will provide 10.8 billion rand ($1 billion) of debt funding for six of the 17 preferred projects announced in the government’s third of five renewable-energy procurement rounds, the Johannesburg-based company said in an e-mailed statement.

The funding “will be a combination of corporate financing and risk management,” Graeme Coetzee, a spokesman for the Absa unit, said by phone from Johannesburg. “It’s transactional banking services, it’s the full spectrum.”

South Africa plans to add 3,725 megawatts of renewable-energy capacity by the end of 2016 with five tenders. That may help state utility Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd., which supplies more than 95 percent of the nation’s power and uses coal for 85 percent of its generation, to meet demand as it struggles to pay for expansion in the continent’s biggest economy. The country allocated 1,456 megawatts to wind, solar photovoltaic, concentrated solar, landfill gas and biomass projects in the third round.

The Absa unit is the lead arranger and lender for projects totaling 635 megawatts of capacity, including 360 megawatts of onshore wind, 200 megawatts of concentrated solar power and 75 megawatts solar photovoltaic, it said. Winning bidders are expected to sign project agreements with the Department of Energy on July 30.

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