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Will Putin Pay for $100 Billion South Africa Nuclear Plan?

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Russia is seen by analysts as the frontrunner to win the right to build South African nuclear power plants that may be worth as much as $100 billion. With a six-month deadline to award contracts, who’s going to pay for the country’s biggest project yet remains a mystery.

Price-tag estimates for as many as eight reactors generating 9,600 megawatts, which the government wants to begin operating from 2023 and complete by 2029, range from $37 billion to $100 billion. Bids are due to start this quarter, with Russia’s state-owned Rosatom Corp. seen as a leader. Areva SA, EDF SA, Toshiba Corp.’s Westinghouse Electric Corp., China Guangdong Nuclear Power Holding Corp. and Korea Electric Power Corp. have also shown interest.