South African public utility giant Eskom will delay installing a $2.5 billion anti-pollution system at one of its largest coal-fired power plants, the company announced Wednesday.
Eskom agreed with the World Bank to push back a deadline for installing the anti-pollution system from 2025 to June 2027 after the debt-ridden company sought to defer paying for the costly system, Bloomberg reported.
The deadline is part of the terms of a $3.75 billion loan Eskom obtained from the World Bank in 2010 to help build the plant.
The system would curb the plant’s emissions of sulfur dioxide, a chemical that decreases tree growth, contributes to acid rain and causes heart and respiratory damage.
Eskom claims that the anti-pollution system would increase the plant’s water consumption and increase carbon dioxide emissions.
Eskom also announced that South Africa’s Department of Environmental Affairs had rejected the company’s prior application to loosen air pollution limits at some of its plants.
That decision, which Eskom plans to appeal, could result in more than a third of the company’s power generation capacity being shut down, the company warned.