Russia's Rosatom bids for nuclear in SA | Fin24
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Russia's Rosatom bids for nuclear in SA

Jan 24 2017 15:46

Cape Town - Russian state nuclear agency Rosatom has submitted a bid for a nuclear power project in South Africa, TASS news agency cited the company's general director Alexei Likhachev as saying on Tuesday.

Reuters reported that Rosatom had been considered the leading candidate for a tender to build 9.6 GW of nuclear power capacity in South Africa by 2030, but South African nuclear state agency Necsa said last year it was no longer "the frontrunner".

Necsa CEO Phumzile Tshelane told Reuters in an interview on the sidelines of the World Nuclear Association conference in September last year that South Africa wants to deepen its nuclear know-how, save costs and create jobs by making sure it picks a company which is happy to share the manufacturing and maintenance.

Stressing that the tender was an "open race" Tshelane, a nuclear physicist, said: "We do not want a build, own, operate model."

Rosatom has sold several nuclear reactors to developing countries, including Turkey, under the "BOO" model, whereby Russia finances, builds and operates the nuclear plant and sells power to its customer. 

At the time, Tshelane said he wants between a third and half of the construction to take place locally, which would also help to keep costs down.

In October Viktor Polikarpov, Rosatom regional vice-president for sub-Saharan Africa, told Fin24 at the National Nuclear Regulator conference in Pretoria that Rosatom wanted South Africa’s request for proposal (for the nuclear build programme) to be handled professionally.

Polikarpov said he hoped the process of selecting a vendor was transparent, open, just and in line with what the constitution requires.

Rosatom’s ability to finance the nuclear build programme relies heavily on the request for proposals, he said at the time. “That will indicate the financial solution preferable for the government of South Africa.”

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