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SA may need five nuclear plants by 2030

Koeberg “’ South Africa’s
only nuclear plant
Johannesburg, South Africa — ESI-AFRICA.COM — 26 November 2010 – South Africa may need to build five nuclear power plants by 2030 at a cost of more than US$35 billion as the country struggles to meet energy demand, according to state- owned Nuclear Energy Corporation CEO Rob Adam.

Speaking in an interview here, he said construction of the first plant should ideally start in 2013. Plants could be situated in the Western and Eastern Cape provinces.

“The country will need to build about five Koeberg-sized stations,” he proposed. Koeberg, which started operating in 1984, is the nation’s only nuclear plant and generates about 6% of its electricity.

South Africa is battling an electricity shortage after the government suspended the expansion plans of state-owned utility Eskom Holdings Limited while it tried and failed to convince private companies to build power plants. That resulted in a five-day shutdown of most mines in the country in early 2008.

In December of that year, South Africa halted plans to build a second, US$17 billion (R120 billion) nuclear plant as the global financial crisis tightened credit markets.

Toshiba Corporation’s Westinghouse Electric Company and Areva SA “’ the world’s largest supplier of reactors “’ were competing for the cancelled order.

South Africa will complete laws next year to allow private companies to invest in planned nuclear plants, Department of Public Enterprises deputy director-general Chris Forlee said last month.