South African utility Eskom has announced that interest in the request for information (RFI) it issued last December for the country's nuclear new build program has been "very positive". Some 27 companies have stated that they intend to provide a response to the RFI, including China's SNPTC, France's EDF, Russia's Rusatom Overseas and South Korea's Kepco.
When it released the RFI on 20 December - following a new decision by the Minister of Energy, Tina Joemat-Petterson, that Eskom has been designated to procure the 9600 MWe of new nuclear generating capacity and South Africa's Nuclear Energy Corporation (Necsa) designated to procure a new research reactor and fuel manufacturing plant - Eskom stressed the exercise will not create any financial commitments or obligations to Eskom or the government.
Eskom's interim group CEO Matshela Koko said today: "Eskom is looking forward to the information supplied to confirm our understanding of the key issues that impact the timing and affordability of a nuclear program."
While the intention to submit a response to the RFI does not commit a company to do so, Eskom noted, the response "shows the level of competitive interest" in the country's new build program.
The RFI asked companies that felt they could provide relevant information to confirm by 31 January they would be submitting a response to Eskom (for both Eskom and Necsa's use) by 28 April.
South Africa's Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) for 2010-2030 calls for construction of 9600 MWe of new nuclear capacity - supplying 23% of the country's electricity - with the first reactor to come online by 2023.
Researched and written
by World Nuclear News