Johannesburg, South Africa — MININGREVIEW.COM — 11 November 2010 – Transnet Limited “’ a solely South African government-owned public company that operates and controls the country’s overall transport infrastructure “’ is one of two South African public enterprise institutions that will be receiving substantial financing from investors in the United States. The other is power utility Eskom.
This was revealed here by Export-Import Bank of the United States chairman and president Fred P. Hochberg, who is currently in South Africa on a three-day fact-finding mission.
In addition to meeting with South African government and business leaders, Hochberg is signing a Memorandum of Understanding with the Export Credit Insurance Corporation (ECIC), South Africa’s official export credit agency. Under the agreement, the two agencies will exchange information on trade and business prospects in order to identify opportunities for cooperation, including co-financing opportunities in sub-Saharan Africa.
Hochberg announced Ex-Im Bank’s first-stage approval of financing for the export of General Electric locomotives to Transnet, pending Congressional notification of the Bank’s intent to approve the transaction. The agreement is due to be signed in the next month.
Last year, Transnet announced that it had entered into an agreement with the local arm of equipment manufacturer General Electric to supply 100 new diesel locomotives as part of its R93.4 billion five-year capital investment programme.
Transnet spokesman Mboniso Sigonyela said the new locomotives would have a dramatic effect on its operations. This was likely to improve delivery of export coal on the Richards Bay line, as well as exports of iron ore.
“On the energy front, a transaction to finance the sale of engineering services by Kansas- based engineering firm Black and Veatch to power utility Eskom at its Kusile power plant is in the final stages of being approved by the bank’s board of trustees,” Hochberg revealed.
Eskom spokeswoman Hillary Joffe confirmed that the utility’s management was in negotiation with the Americans.
Hochberg announced that “’ after an initial review of the Kusile power plant project under Ex-Im Bank’s enhanced due diligence process for high carbon intensity facilities “’ the Bank’s board of directors had decided to proceed with a full financial, technical and environmental review of the project.
After the full review, the transaction to finance the sale of engineering services to Eskom by Black & Veatch would go back to the Board for final action. The Kusile project has environmentally beneficial features including water conservation technology, a highly efficient boiler, pollution abatement technology, and carbon-capture-ready status.