SOUTH AFRICA: Redstone Solar Thermodynamic Project’s first debt drawdown

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SOUTH AFRICA: the first debt drawdown of the Redstone solar thermal project ©StockStudio Aerials/Shutterstock

In South Africa, the developers of the Redstone Concentrated Solar Power (CSP) project are making the first debt drawdown after raising $770 million from several development banks and private investors.

The Redstone Concentrated Solar Power project has reached a new milestone. It is the first debt drawdown, after a financial mobilization arranged by the African Development Bank (AfDB) on behalf of the project’s developers, Saudi Arabian independent power producer (IPP) Acwa Power, South African Pele Green Energy, Central Energy Fund and the local community. The project in the Northern Cape is receiving 2.306 billion rand (more than $152 million) from the AfDB.

The other part of the financing is being provided by development banks, the UK’s CDC Group, Germany’s Deutsche Investitions-und Entwicklungsgesellschaft (DEG), the Nederlandse Financierings-Maatschappij voor Ontwikkelingslanden (FMO) of the Netherlands and South Africa’s Industrial Development Corporation (IDC). Private investors Absa Bank, Investec Bank, Nedbank and Sanlam are also participating in the financing of the Redstone CSP.

Commissioning in 2023

Work began on the solar thermal project site nine months ago. According to the AfDB, engineering work is more than 58% complete, while procurement and construction are more than 45% and 6% complete, respectively. A key construction milestone, the tower’s foundation is already complete. And at this rate, the PSC could enter service in the fourth quarter of 2023.

Read also- SOUTH AFRICA: CDC invests $50M in the Redstone solar project (100 MW)

The project will require a total investment of R11.6 billion ($770 million), with nearly R7 billion ($463 million) in foreign direct investment, according to the AfDB. The concentrating solar power plant will have a capacity of 100 MW, with the ability to store energy for 12 hours. Acwa Power estimates that the facility will be able to supply 200,000 South African homes with electricity.

At the same time, the Redstone CSP is expected to offset 440 metric tons of CO2 emissions per year. “This is the first renewable energy project to offer ancillary services in the country. The project is certified by the Climate Bonds Standard and Certification Scheme and is consistent with the goals of the Paris climate agreement, which aims to limit global warming to below 2°C,” says ADB. Redstone’s output will be sold to South Africa’s state-owned utility Eskom under a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA).

Jean Marie Takouleu

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