Eskom, the South African state-owned power company, is in preliminary talks with banks for a US$1bn syndicated loan facility for emergency coal monetisation.

The talks are in very early stages, but it is likely the facility will have a maturity of seven to 10 years.

“This is a massive deal,” one banker close to the deal says. “The requests for proposals from banks have all gone out.”

In a statement to GTR, an Eskom spokesperson says that the company is exploring a number of options to obtain financing to pursue its business productivity programme. “This will only be pursued if the terms are appropriate and don’t impact existing lender covenants,” the statement reads.