South African Energy Chief Seeks Nod For Nuclear Plant: Times

image is BloomburgMedia_SG8TK4T0AFB400_07-07-2024_12-00-07_638559072000000000.jpg

Kgosientsho Ramokgopa

South Africa’s energy ministry plans to secure funding approval soon for a 2,500-megawatt nuclear power plant in its efforts to increase electricity supplies, the local Sunday Times reported.

Work has reached an advanced stage, and a team is working on a deal and finalizing the procurement structure for the project, Energy and Electricity Minister Kgosientsho Ramokgopa told the Johannesburg newspaper. 

Ramokgopa hopes the nation’s Treasury will sign off on the plan by next month. A site is yet to be confirmed and various technical details are still being ironed out. 

The proposed power station would be bigger than the Koeberg plant, north of Cape Town, which is South Africa’s only nuclear power plant and generates 1,940MW of energy. 

The latest nuclear technology “is very rapid to deploy, relatively cheaper and more efficient,” Ramokgopa told the newspaper. “We must resolve the issues of who will operate the plant, but I think I can say before we even conclude that it will be Eskom, as Eskom has the experience, having done that at Koeberg.”

State power utility Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd. has struggled for years to adequately supply electricity to South Africans from its aging fleet of generation facilities, with problems exacerbated by mismanagement and corruption. 

Eskom has routinely implemented rolling power cuts which can lead to daily outages of at least up to 10 hours — known locally as load shedding. The nation’s energy crisis has hurt economic activity and in 2023 resulted in GDP growth of just 0.7%, the slowest rate of expansion since the pandemic in 2020. 

 Source: Bloomberg

The electricity provider has begun to see an improvement in generating performance and has not implemented rolling power cuts for more than 100 days, it said in a statement on Friday. 

©2024 Bloomberg L.P.

By Nt,o Thukwana


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