South Africa wants nuclear solution to growing power crisis
VENTURES AFRICA – South Africa, which is currently facing power problems that have negatively impacted the country’s already weak economy, is poised to set off on a course of action aimed at procuring nuclear power to generate as much as 9,600 megawatts of electricity.
Tina Joemat-Pettersson, the country’s energy minister, unveiled the plan to the public as she addressed South Africa’s law makers earlier today. “We expect to present the outcome of this procurement process to cabinet by year-end.” The procurement process would be conducted in a “fair and transparent” fashion, she added.
South Africa, which operates Africa’s only nuclear power station in Koeberg, Cape Town, would also re-launch its nuclear fuel cycle industry.
This would include developing domestic uranium enrichment and nuclear fuel production sites in South Africa, which has huge uranium deposits. Africa’s most advanced economy is struggling to provide power to its households, companies and heavy engineering industrial sites.
For the past couple of weeks, the country has been experiencing rolling power cuts, leaving households and companies quite frustrated. It is understood that in order to meet its targeted nuclear generation capacity, the country intends to construct six new nuclear power factories by 2030 at a cost ranging from $34 to $84 billion.
South Africa has signed nuclear power contracts with China, South Korea, France and the United States.
This was after it shocked many people in September last year when it disclosed that it had also signed a contract with Russia to build plants valued at $10 billion.