FirstRand Bank has joined the exodus of local banks that were funding new coal-fired power plants in South Africa, and in particular the Thabametsi and Khanyisa independent power producer (IPP) projects.
These two projects are included in the draft integrated resource plan for electricity, Draft IRP 2018, for completion in 2023 and 2024. The IRP is due to be presented to the cabinet for final approval in February 2019, according to the South Africa minister of energy, Hon. Jeff Radebe.
The 557 MW Thabametsi project and 306 MW Khanyisa project were announced as the successful bidders in October 2016, in the first bid window of the Department of Energy’s new-coal IPP programme, following a request for proposals in December 2014.
The projects have still not achieved financial close, and in addition to funding difficulties, their environmental authorisations, atmospheric emission licences, water-use licences and generation licences are either outstanding or being challenged in various fora, including the high court.