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The Shanghai-based New Development Bank, formerly known as the BRICS Development Bank, has approved a loan of ZAR6bn ($400m) to Eskom Holdings for the establishment of a battery energy storage system comprising 360MW of distributed battery storage sites across four provinces of South Africa. The project, which will be the first of its kind in Africa, is seen as a key component for meeting South Africa’s long-term renewable energy goals, helping primarily to meet peak demand, increasingly through renewable energy, and avoiding the use of fossil fuels, the bank announced on 20 December.