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26 January 2017

Russia’s Rosatom confirms bid submission for SA nuclear build

Russian state nuclear agency Rosatom, has affirmed its interests in South Africa by having submitted a bid for a nuclear power project under the government’s proposed new nuclear build.

This is according to TASS news agency who cited the company's General Director, Alexei Likhachev, on Tuesday.

One of the country’s most controversial topics has caused public concern around the uncertainty of capital outlay and the general transparency of communication around the project developments.

Rosatom to set roots in SA?

Nikolay Drozdov, Director of the International Business Department of Rosatom State Corporation, said in a statement in March last year: "Construction of an NPP in South Africa will help create 10,000 direct jobs; it will also generate a profit of $48.3 billion for local businesses and bring $52.5 billion in tax revenue to the national budget.”

However, media reported that Rosatom had been considered the leading candidate for a tender to build 9.6GW of nuclear power capacity in South Africa by 2030, but South African nuclear state agency Necsa said last year it was no longer "the frontrunner".

eNCA reported on Tuesday that Eskom rejected reports that Rosatom had submitted a bid to build a nuclear power project in South Africa, citing that it had not received a bid from anyone because an invitation for bidding process has not yet been opened.

Nuclear process to be followed

During the State of the Nation Address in February 2016, President Zuma highlighted that the country will only procure nuclear on a scale and pace that the country can afford.

The department of energy explained in a statement in September last year: “The National Development Plan enjoins the government to conduct thorough investigations on different aspects of the nuclear new build programme before a procurement decision is taken.

“More specifically, the National Development Plan [NDP] directed that South Africa needs a thorough investigation on the implications of nuclear energy, including its costs, financing options, institutional arrangements, safety, environmental costs and benefits, localisation and employment opportunities, and uranium enrichment and fuel fabrication possibilities.”

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