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Renewable energy a key focus area for the BRICS Bank
December 20, 2019, 4:19 pm

New Development Bank loan to Eskom for battery storage follows technical assistance for small hydro project in India

The first president of the New Development Bank K. V. Kamath [NDB]

At its board meeting on December 16, 2019, the board approved three projects aggregating to approximately $1 billion bringing the BRICS New Development Bank (NDB)’s portfolio to 52 projects with loans aggregating to $14.7 billion.

The NDB will provide a loan of ZAR 6 billion (some $400 million) to Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd. (Eskom) for setting up Battery Energy Storage System comprising 360 MW of distributed battery storage sites across four provinces of South Africa. The project is primarily aimed at meeting peak electricity demand, increasingly through renewable energy, and avoiding emissions associated with utilization of fossil fuels. NDB’s financial support to this project will be provided along with that of the World Bank and African Development Bank.

Currently Eskom uses expensive diesel-fired Open Cycle Gas Turbines (OCGT) and hydro-electric pumped storage schemes to meet peak period demand, but recently, unplanned breakdowns at coal-fired power plants have meant it has been unable to meet demand and so has had to institute load shedding to balance demand with supply.

Earlier in December, the NDB approved technical assistance of $300,000 to the Republic of India for Mizoram Tuirini Small Hydro Project. The NDB’s technical assistance will provide consulting services aimed at preparing the Mizoram Tuirini Small Hydro Project. The project envisages construction of a small hydropower plant with an installed capacity of 24 MW in the state of Mizoram, to increase installed power generation capacity of Mizoram.

The NDB approved a loan of CHF 500 million (approx. $500 million) to Joint Stock Company Russian Railways for the Locomotive Fleet Renewal Program.

The NDB will also make an investment of up to $100 million in the Patria Infrastructure Fund IV, L.P. in Brazil. The investment will catalyze investments in Brazil’s key infrastructure sectors such as transportation and logistics, data infrastructure, and environmental services.

In 2018, the NDB approved 17 loans totalling about US$ 4.6 billion, building on its base of 13 loans worth US$ 3.4 billion as of the end of 2017. That brought the total loan book of the bank to 30 projects worth approximately US$ 8 billion by the end of last year.

Helmo Preuss in Makhanda, South Africa for The BRICS Post