S. Africa Sees New Nuclear Plants Operational After 2020

South Africa expects planned new nuclear plants, needed to address power constraints, to become operational after 2020, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa said.

South Africa plans to add 9,600 megawatts of nuclear energy to the national grid to reduce reliance on coal, which provides more than 90 percent of the nation’s power, according to the government’s resources plan. Areva SA, EDF SA, Toshiba Corp.’s Westinghouse Electric Corp., China Guangdong Nuclear Power Holding Corp., Rosatom Corp. and Korea Electric Power Corp. have expressed interest in building the plants.

It “is going to take a long time to build up” to generating 9,600 megawatts, Ramaphosa told reporters in Cape Town today. “We are looking way beyond 2020.”

The National Treasury said in February 2013 that the 300 billion-rand ($29 billion) nuclear program was in the final stages of study.

The government decided on a mix of energy sources, including gas, nuclear, coal, solar, wind and hydropower, Ramaphosa said.

“It is going to cost a lot of money,” he said. “The process of planning should include how we are going to raise capital for this roll-out process. We have got to come up with clever ways of raising capital.”

State-run Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd. operates a 1,800-megawatt nuclear power station at Koeberg, near Cape Town. In December, the Energy Ministry published a revised 20-year energy plan, which projected that new nuclear power will not be required until at least 2025.

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