The management of Eskom Holdings Ltd. and the World Bank met last week to discuss the status of a $3.75 billion power plant loan after the utility said it’s seeking to breach the loan terms by skipping the installation of pollution abatement equipment. Eskom, which has 454 billion rand ($27 billion) in debt, has said it is loath to spend the 42 billion rand it says is needed to install the flue-gas desulfurization equipment required to reduce sulfur dioxide emissions at its Medupi power plant.
The management teams discussed “Eskom strategy to improve the company’s operational and financial performance and the implementation status of the Eskom Investment Support Project,” the World Bank said in a response to questions. “The bank is working with Eskom to ensure that the project is successfully implemented.”
While Eskom is yet to formally approach South Africa’s environment ministry over its plan, the government has said there is no process in law that would allow Eskom to flout emissions rules.