South Africa to finalise nuclear procurement process soon

Cape Town, June 3 (IANS) The South African government will finalise the nuclear procurement process by the end of this year in a fresh bid to meet the country’s growing energy demand, a senior official has said.

For this purpose, the South African government has invited prospective nuclear vendor countries to come and demonstrate how they would participate in South Africa’s nuclear build program, said Zimamele Mbambo, deputy director general of nuclear at the Department of Energy (DOE), Xinhua news agency reported on Wednesday.

South Africa has signed inter-governmental agreements with prospective vendor countries, including Russia, the US, France, China and South Korea.

But Mbambo said the agreements did not mean that concrete deals have been signed.

This only meant that bilateral agreements were reached based on the interest showed by prospective bidders, Mbambo told the parliamentary portfolio committee on energy here.

“We have concluded the pre-procurement phase by concluding demonstrations by all prospective countries who have expressed interest to participate in our nuclear build program to ensure that the process is transparent, is open and is fair and allows all the governments to submit their proposals,” Mbambo said.

The country has been grappling with rolling blackouts since November last year. Load shedding has become more and more common these days as power generating units collapsed one after another.

The South African government is committed to providing nine 600 MW of nuclear power through a nuclear build program in terms of the government integrated energy plan of 2010 to 2030.

The first of six new mini-nuclear plants is expected to come on stream by 2023.

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