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Investec Approves $813 Million Debt for South African Renewables

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July 23 (Bloomberg) -- Investec Bank Plc said it’s able to provide 8 billion rand ($813 million) in debt funding for clean-energy projects in South Africa as the country adds wind and solar output.

The money would be used to finance plants in the nation’s third renewables bidding round, Robert Gecelter, a member of Investec’s Project and Infrastructure Finance team, said today in Johannesburg.

South Africa, seeking to cut dependence on coal for power, intends to add 3,725 megawatts of renewable-energy capacity by the end of 2016 with five tenders. That may help state utility Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd. meet demand as it struggles to fund maintenance and expansion in the continent’s biggest economy.

“We expect round three to be very competitive,” Gecelter told reporters. The second round attracted bids from Electricite de France SA, Tata Power Co. and Acciona SA. The deadline for submissions in the third is Aug. 19.

Investec has participated in about 20 billion rand of financing for South African clean-energy and renewable ventures so far, including 6.4 billion rand of debt, according to Fazel Moosa, head of the Project and Infrastructure Finance team. The projects are needed to ensure sufficient electricity supply for industry, he said.

“Our power supply is actually constraining growth” in the country, Moosa said. The bank is also “looking broadly in Africa” for projects, including in Ghana, Kenya and Mozambique, he said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Paul Burkhardt in Johannesburg at pburkhardt@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: John Viljoen at jviljoen@bloomberg.net

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