South African procurement to start soon

06 July 2015

The South African government intends to begin its nuclear new-build procurement process this month, energy minister Tina Joemat-Petterson has indicated in a response to parliamentary questions.

Joemat-Petterson was responding to a question posed by shadow energy minister Gordon Mackay, who has questioned the degree of transparency with which the procurement process will be conducted. Describing the procurement process as "seemingly backward", Mackay said in a statement that he would now request that the energy minister "fully disclose and make public the procurement process to be followed".

Joemat-Petterson had previously said that the procurement process would begin during the second quarter of the current financial year, with strategic partners expected to be selected by the end of the financial year, in April 2016.

South Africa plans to build 9600 MWe of new nuclear capacity, aiming for the first new unit to come on line by 2023. To that end, the country has held meetings and workshops with would-be reactor vendors from numerous countries.

Mackay's Democratic Alliance party voiced concerns about the signature of an intergovernmental nuclear partnership and cooperation agreement between South Africa and Russia in September 2014, prompting media allegations of presidential impropriety that were refuted by President Jacob Zuma.

Earlier this year, Zuma said in his annual state-of-the-nation address that bids to supply South Africa's new nuclear capacity would be sought from the China, France, Russia, South Korea and the USA. Intergovernmental agreements are in place with all five countries.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News