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Eskom of South Africa had ‘fruitful’ talks with Western climate envoys -PDG

JOHANNESBURG, Oct.22 (Reuters) – South African company Eskom, which is seeking finance to move away from coal-fired electricity, recently had “fruitful talks” with Western climate envoys, said on Friday. general manager of the national electricity company.

Climate envoys from Britain, the United States, Germany and France visited South Africa several weeks ago and discussed ways to support the country’s transition to energy sources cleaner. Read more

South Africa, the world’s 12th largest carbon emitter, said at the time that it needed major financial support from rich countries to accelerate its shift from coal and that it wanted a “irrevocable agreement” which could be signed at the UN climate summit COP26. next month. Read more

“We look forward to the announcements at the COP which will give additional impetus to South Africa’s decarbonization plans and its green energy ambitions,” Eskom CEO Andre de Ruyter said during a local energy conference.

Eskom supplies more than 90% of the electricity in Africa’s most industrialized country, mainly by burning coal in its 15 coal-fired power plants.

But he wants to “refuel and reuse” coal-fired power stations that are reaching the end of their life with low-carbon technology, including solar energy production and battery storage.

De Ruyter said on Friday that Eskom would shut down up to 12,000 megawatts (MW) of coal-fired units over the next decade, to reach around 22,000 MW by 2035, and that this presented an opportunity.

“Eskom (is) a desirable counterpart for development finance institutions and lenders who wish to engage with a single entity rather than multiple partners to achieve a significant reduction in carbon emissions,” he said. declared.

Although Eskom will seek a share of the renewable energy allocation in the South African government’s energy plan, it will not seek to corner the local market, de Ruyter added.

Reporting by Alexander Winning; Editing by Promit Mukherjee and Emelia Sithole-Matarise

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