The South African government-owned rail operator Transnet has arranged a loan worth ZAR863m ($103.3m) from Nedbank Capital to buy trains, according to Railway Technology.
Nedbank Capital has acted as lead arranger and sole lender for the ten-year fixed-rate loan facility.
The loan will be used by Transnet to buy 47 C30ACi diesel locomotives from General Electric South Africa Technologies (GESAT), a subsidiary of US-based General Electric (GE).
Nedbank Capital head of export credit finance Philna Potgieter said: "The locomotives form part of Transnet's market demand strategy (MDS), which is aimed at investing about R300 billion over the next seven years with most of the locomotives being built in South Africa, thus enabling economic growth, skills development and job creation."
The kits for the C30-ACi locomotives are being imported from GE Transportation's manufacturing plants in Erie and Grove City, Pennsylvania, US, for assembly by Transnet Rail Engineering.
Nedbank Capital said that the loan will be guaranteed by the Export Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank).
Ex-Im Bank president and chairman Fred Hochberg revealed that the bank has increased its activity in sub-Saharan Africa, investing $1.5bn in the first nine months of fiscal year 2012 to support US exports to the region.
"This financing already exceeds the previous record of US$1.4 billion that the bank set for the entire fiscal year in 2011," Hochberg said.
Transnet contracted GE to deliver 43 new model C30ACi locomotives in January 2012, bringing the total number ordered by Transnet to 143 since December 2009.
The 43 trains are scheduled to be delivered by June 2013 and will enter revenue service shortly thereafter.
GE said the C30ACi is the first AC diesel-electric locomotive to be introduced to sub-Saharan Africa; its engine delivers 3,300GHP using an electronic fuel injection system that automatically supplies the exact amount of fuel needed for optimal engine efficiency.
The locomotives also feature GE's AC propulsion technology and dynamic braking, enabling customers to haul the same amount of freight with fewer locomotives, thereby reducing fuel use and conforming to UIC2 emissions standards.