Eskom wants to diversify the energy mix of Africa's largest economy towards cleaner sources such as concentrated solar energy and wind energy.
The World Bank's Clean Technology Fund is expected to take a final decision on a $350 million loan for South Africa's power utility Eskom no later than June, a minister said on Tuesday.
State-owned Eskom, which is spending billions of dollars to build and upgrade existing coal-fired power plants, wants to diversify the energy mix of Africa's largest economy towards cleaner sources such as solar power and wind energy.
Eskom submitted a $350 million loan application to the World Bank, the African Development Bank and other co-financiers -- through the Clean Technology Fund (CTF) -- to finance a 100 megawatt concentrated solar power plant and a separate 100 MW wind power plant.
"The CTF appraisal team was in South Africa (between) 7 February and 12 February 2011 and the final outcome is expected in June 2011 at the very latest," Sibusiso Ndebele, transport minister and chairman of government's infrastructure development cluster, told a media briefing.
South Africa could produce its first concentrating solar power from a mooted solar farm by 2012, and depending on investor appetite, eventually supplying 5,000 MW of power as a viable and cost-effective alternative to energy from coal.