On Tuesday The Department of Energy (DoE) announced that government has concluded the pre-procurement preparatory phase for South Africa’s nuclear new build programme.
The DoE has conducted a number of vendor workshops over the past months with seven countries including Canada, China, France, Japan, Russia, South Korea and the USA as these countries use similar technology to South Africa, such as pressurised water reactor nuclear technology.
The DoE said: “Government continues to make significant progress in its engagements with various prospective nuclear vendor countries as part of the process towards the implementation of the expansion of the nuclear new build programme, as required for energy security based on a sustainable energy mix.”
“The National Development Plan enjoins us to do thorough investigations on various aspects of the nuclear power generation programme before a procurement decision is taken. These policy prescripts are meant to add 9,600 megawatts of electricity to the national electricity grid and ensure that we keep the lights on in a sustainable manner,” the DoE added.
The DoE said the workshops involved vendor countries presenting their nuclear technology offerings and how they intended meeting South Africa’s objective of building an industry around what could be a 9,600MW build programme.
“The outcome of this pre-procurement phase has demonstrated that each of the vendor countries presented unique proposals (unique solutions) to implement the Nuclear New Build Programme. This outcome will support the Government decision making processes to develop a transparent, fair, cost effective and competitive procurement process for selecting a strategic partner(s) to implement the Nuclear New Build Programme,” the DoE explained.
The procurement process would be presented for approval by the Energy Security Cabinet Subcommittee and endorsed by Cabinet.
“Once endorsed by Cabinet the procurement process will be presented for deliberation by Parliament, and then government will launch a procurement process well in time to ensure that South Africa commissioned the first unit by 2023 and the last unit by 2030,” the DoE said in a statement.