UPDATE 1-S. Africa plans next phase of new 2,500 MW nuclear power plant

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CAPE TOWN, Sept. 21 (Reuters) – South Africa is moving forward with plans for a new 2,500 megawatt nuclear power plant to boost energy security and wants to end the process of supplying ‘by 2024, the deputy energy minister said on Tuesday.

“We plan to publish the call for tenders (RFP) for the 2,500 MW nuclear program at the end of March 2022 and complete the supply in 2024 to support the reconstruction and economic recovery plan and ensure the security of the ‘energy supply,’ Nobhule Pamela said in a speech. at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), according to a copy of his speech.

With the government not launching a request for information until June of last year to test the market’s appetite for the new plant, and the procurement process is still in its infancy, it does not There were no immediate details on the estimated cost or the project completion date.

South Africa‘s energy regulator last month backed a long-term government plan to build new nuclear power plants, a move that could help the country move away from coal and switch to power generation. less carbonaceous.

Africa’s most industrialized economy has the continent’s only operating nuclear power plant, a 1,900 megawatt (MW) facility outside Cape Town that was built under apartheid.

However, much of its electricity supply comes from a fleet of coal-fired power plants that spew harmful emissions into the air, many of which are set to close within a decade as South Africa cuts emissions.

South Africa, which regularly experiences power outages due to the erratic power supply, said it will look to expand its nuclear capacity at a rate and when it can afford, after giving up in 2018 a massive nuclear expansion plan defended by the former president, Jacob Zuma. .

Analysts had expressed serious concerns about Zuma’s plan for a nuclear power plant network totaling 9,600 MW, as it would have strained South Africa’s public finances as it faced a series of deterioration of its credit rating. (Reporting by Wendell Roelf; Editing by Emma Rumney and Bernadette Baum)

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