Should South Africa forge ahead with its nuclear new build plans, French utility EDF has confirmed their interest as a partner for the project design, an EDF executive said on Tuesday.
According to Reuters, the French utility would bid in a South African nuclear tender if the country went ahead with plans to expand its nuclear power industry.
"We know that South Africa is thinking about a new nuclear, new build programme, we are at their disposal to help design their programme and of course respond to their demands," EDF's head of new nuclear, Xavier Ursat, told reporters in Abu Dhabi while attending an international nuclear conference.
"As soon [as] they launch something we will be there to answer," he said.
However, Reuters noted that although France built South Africa's first nuclear plant at Koeberg, Russia's Rosatom is a strong contender for the next project.
The news agency added that firms from other nations are also expected to bid.
SA nuclear new build
South Africa made an informed decision to pursue nuclear power as part of the energy mix, through the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) 2010 – 2030, which envisages an additional 9,600MW of nuclear power capacity.
Addressing delegates at the nuclear conference South African ambassador to the United Arab Emirates, Mpetjane Lekgoro, explained: “We are currently reviewing South Africa’s Nuclear New Build Programme so as to ensure that the process accords with our legislative framework, including engagement with the public in the decision-making process.
“Once this review has been completed, we are committed to implementing the Nuclear New Build Programme at a scale and pace that our country can afford.”
The Ambassador said that the country is committed to ensuring that the expansion of the nuclear power generating capacity provides the maximum benefit to the country.
“In this regard, we are convinced that the Nuclear New Build Programme will bring many socio-economic benefits in line with our country’s National Development Plan.
“These range from reducing greenhouse gas emissions in keeping with South Africa’s climate change commitments, the development of advanced technology, and skills development in order to achieve a stable, sustainable, clean, and cost effective baseload electricity,” Lekgoro said.
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