16 January 2008 – Two international nuclear companies have been asked to submit bids to build South Africa’s next nuclear power station. According to reports, Eskom has invited Areva and Westinghouse to submit bids for a power station with twice the capacity of Koeberg. The new nuclear power plant will be the first of six planned by the utility for the South African industry.

KoebergPS

Eskom’s Koeberg
nuclear power plant

"We want to receive and evaluate the bids in the first quarter of this year and then report to our board at the end of March," said Tony Stott, Eskom spokesman. He also confirmed that the approaches to the two companies had been made in late 2007. It is hoped that construction will start by 2010, with the new plant coming on line by 2016.

While Stott would not confirm the estimated cost of the new plant, it has been widely reported that Bongani Nqwababa, Eskom’s finance director, has estimated the cost to be in the region of US$17.5 billion, with a total estimated cost for all six nuclear power plants at US$103 billion.