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South Africa Extends Power Funding Deadline on Logistics

South Africa extended the June 30 deadline by which wind and solar power-plant developers have to conclude funding arrangements by two weeks.

“It’s mainly because of some logistical issues on the government side,” Ompi Aphane, a deputy director general in the Department of Energy, said by mobile phone from Pretoria today. “One of those would be the regulatory approvals.”

An example is state-owned power utility Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd., which has to sign contracts to purchase the power generated by the renewable-energy plants, according to Aphane.

South Africa is expanding its power-generation capacity after Eskom, which generates most of its power from coal, suffered shortages in 2008, temporarily shutting gold, platinum and other mines.

The Department of Energy approved 28 renewable-energy projects, mainly wind and solar plants, in a first bidding window last year and 19 in a second this year. The deadline for financial closure for the first-window bidders was June 30.

The department has yet to finalize the date on which it will open a third bidding round for renewable-power projects, Aphane said.

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