The Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) has signed a Declaration of Intent (DoI) that will see the bank financing up to $2bn in US-made technologies, products and services for South Africa’s energy sector, with an emphasis on its clean energy development.

The agreement is with the Industrial Development Corporation of South Africa Limited (IDC), with the funding aimed at advancing the South African government’s Integrated Resource Plan and the South African Renewable Initiative.

Fred P. Hochberg, chairman and president of Ex-Im Bank, and Gert Gouws, chief financial officer of the IDC, signed the DoI yesterday.

“South Africa is a dynamic market that offers enormous opportunities for American companies,” said Hochberg.

“This agreement will help ensure that Ex-Im Bank continues to provide financing to South African buyers that want to buy high-quality US goods and services. This partnership will help create jobs and lasting economic opportunities for both our countries.”

South Africa plans to double its power supply by adding more than 50 000 MW of electricity to the grid. The government also aims to generate 3725 MW of power from renewable energy sources by 2016, as part of a $127bn scheme to overhaul the national electricity system.

 South African energy minister Dipuo Peters Over the next eight years renewable energy will comprise 42 percent and nuclear power 23 percent of the national grid, said South Africa’s Energy Minister Dipuo Peters (pictured) at a business forum between South African and US executives.

  “It is important that you assist in translating these projects into reality,” she told  investors. “South Africa is a stepping stone to Africa.

Trade between the US and South Africa rose to nearly $17bn last year, up 18 per cent from the previous year. And the US is the third largest source of foreign direct investment in Africa’s biggest economy.

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