Last Updated:April 18 @ 08:52 pm

Obama admin to give $2B in renewable energy loans to S. Africa

By Jon Gambrell

JOHANNESBURG (AP) - The U.S. will offer South Africa up to $2 billion in loans to fund renewable energy ventures involving American companies, a top official said Monday, a potential boon for both the electricity-hungry nation and U.S. business interests.

The 18-year loans will be funded out of the U.S. Export-Import Bank, the government's vehicle for promoting U.S. export sales by providing low-interest loans for services and goods produced by American industries. The funding could be applied to a variety of projects, including wind, solar and thermal power, said Fred Hochberg, the bank president and chairman.

U.S. and South African officials plan to sign a formal agreement for the loans Tuesday as U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton continues her visit to South Africa.

"The government here has really been a leader in thinking forward about energy policy," Hochberg told journalists during a break at a U.S.-South African business summit.

Companies that could benefit from the funding include General Electric Co., Santa Monica, Calif.-based SolarReserve LLC, and Siemens AG, Hochberg said.

South Africa, the continent's biggest economy, has seen its growth slowed in part due to an ongoing electricity crisis as public utility Eskom struggles to meet demand. Energy Minister Dipuo Peters told those gathered at the summit that investment in the country's power generation remained vital if the country - and Africa as a whole - is to grow into the coming years.

"Without access to energy services, the poor will continue to be deprived of the most basic economic opportunities to improve their status of living," Peters said.

Clinton, on a tour of African nations, later addressed the business summit, stressing the importance of expanding business, as well as diplomatic ties, with South Africa. It isn't just renewable energy at play here. Boeing Co. remains in the running to provide aircraft to South African Airways as it looks at updating its fleet, Hochberg said.

"This is the sixth country I've visited on this trip, and though each country in this fabulous continent is unique, I have delivered one consistent message: We want sustainable partnerships in Africa that add value rather than extract it," Clinton said.

However, business leaders at the summit acknowledged the challenges of doing business in Africa, including concerns about political stability and fears of potential takeovers of private industries by the government. While South African leaders continue to promise businesses free and unfettered access to their market, some politicians continue to raise the possibility of nationalizing mines and other industries.

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12 Comments

  1. capricorn1Comment by capricorn1
    August 7, 2012 @ 9:25 am

    where the hell is he getting it from?
    green is the new red and its seems all governments are using it as a smoke screen to take control of YOU AND ME.

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    • BobinmsComment by Bobinms
      August 7, 2012 @ 6:47 pm

      He’s borrowing it so he can lend it.

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      Rating: 1.0/5 (1 vote cast)
  2. bna42Comment by bna42
    August 7, 2012 @ 10:02 am

    “Companies that could benefit from the funding include General Electric Co., Santa Monica, Calif.-based SolarReserve LLC, and Siemens AG, Hochberg said.”

    Isn’t GE the company that many people criticize because they didn’t pay any U.S. income tax last year? Is SolarReserve another one of those “green energy” solar panel companies that could easily file bankruptcy as soon as the loan is approved? Obama doesn’t have a very good track record when it comes to making loans to “renewable energy” companies. When he provides loans for these companies isn’t he actually “sending jobs overseas”?

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    Rating: 4.4/5 (9 votes cast)
  3. middlegroundComment by middleground
    August 7, 2012 @ 11:25 am

    Congress is supposed to control spending, so just cut off all funding to the export-import bank and let them scream.

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    Rating: 4.4/5 (7 votes cast)
  4. WarpfieldComment by Warpfield
    August 7, 2012 @ 11:41 am

    I think what’s going on here is, Obama sees his impending loss in the election and is attempting to implement as much of his liberal agenda as possible. I just hope that Romney is able to undo all of this ****.

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    Rating: 4.5/5 (8 votes cast)
  5. bawana1Comment by bawana1
    August 7, 2012 @ 12:05 pm

    this president is more concered with other countries than the one he lives in, where the hell does he come off of to squander monies that we need for our inferstructure and medical needs right here in this great country.

    Also why are we giving China 50 billion for the same reason, charity beginds at home, especially when America is broke going down the tube with all this losey spending.

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  6. calharComment by calhar
    August 7, 2012 @ 12:35 pm

    That a way to go Obama.Take care of your freinds at the expense of of someone else.

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    Rating: 4.2/5 (5 votes cast)
  7. trustygmaComment by trustygma
    August 7, 2012 @ 12:43 pm

    when is congress and the people going to wake up about this traitor, he is not for the USA. our flags are all flying torn apart and our freedom is being torn apart, our jobs are gone….wake up, wake up, wake up……..

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    • bna42Comment by bna42
      August 7, 2012 @ 12:54 pm

      “when is congress and the people going to wake up about this traitor”

      Trusty, Congress knows the truth about Obama, but the House who has responsibility for his impeachment is scared of Obama because he is a Chicago thug. Even if the House impeached him, the Sentate led by “Dirty Liar Reid” would not choose to remove him from office or hand down any punishment, and they would use the issue against the Republicans.

      Democrats have become the party of thugs. Reid makes an obvious false comment about Romney, says someone told him, will not verify his source, yet Pelosi defends Reid, even though she has no verification either.

      Congress has had several opportunities to impeach Obama because he has deliberately violated several federal laws, yet they refused to do that, so they are complicit in his crimes. The only hope this country has if for Republicans to take a filibuster-proof majority in both houses of Congress. Then if the ignorant people of this nation give Obama a second term, he can be impeached and run out of town.

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  8. clarkentComment by clarkent
    August 7, 2012 @ 1:02 pm

    The only Green Energy I see is the green money this administration takes from the taxpayers. Quit spending our money like it was yours to play with.

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  9. tps12Comment by tps12
    August 7, 2012 @ 2:08 pm

    So I guess will borrow money from China and then lend it too South Africa. Wouldn’t it just be smarter too cut out the middle man and just let China lend South Africa the money.

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  10. wedeyComment by wedey
    August 7, 2012 @ 5:41 pm

    Since we are broke, are we borrowing money to give to other nations. I guess then we don’t need any tax hikes or to raise the debt limit or anything else. Why is Congress and the American people lettinghim get by with all this **** he is handling out.

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