Forging ahead with its plans to extend SA electricity, SA power utility, Eskom reveals that nearly 30 companies will join Russia in signing the SA nuclear programme.
Seeing that Eskom’s proposed SA nuclear programme has generated much controversial publicity, following the argument that the deal could cripple the SA finance, dozens of companies have joined Russia’s Rosatom to indicate their interest in working on the project.
According to Eskom, 27 companies have stated that they intend to provide a response to the Request for Information (RFI) for the proposed 9.6 GW Nuclear New Build Programme
This includes four major nuclear vendors from China (SNPTC), France (EDF), Russia (Rosatom) and South Korea (Kepco),
France EDF noted its interest in the 9.6 GW SA nuclear programme days after the Rosatom issued a statement indicating that it had met the first deadline (31 January) in the nuclear process, which was simply to state whether they would respond to the RFI.
EDF said in a statement on 25 January that the French utility – with support from French authorities – has formally declared its intention to submit a response to that RFI.
“EDF and the French nuclear industry welcome the RFI as an opportunity to engage in a new phase of cooperation with Eskom and Necsa on developing the South African Nuclear New Build Programme,” EDF said.
State’s own power utility, Eskom kick-started the SA nuclear programme procurement process on 20 December 2016 when it launched the RFI process. Two requests for proposals (RFPs) are still due to be released this year.
However, Eskom requires Treasury sign-off before this can be released, as it relates to the financial aspects of the bid. The actual deadline for the response to the RFI is 28 April 2017.
“While the intention to submit a response to Eskom’s RFI does not commit a company to submit a response to a potential future RFP, the quantum of the response to Eskom’s RFI shows the level of competitive interest in the South African Nuclear New Build Programme,” said Eskom acting CEO Matshela Koko
“Eskom is looking forward to the information supplied to confirm our understanding of the key issues that impact the timing and affordability of a nuclear program,” he further explained.
Meanwhile, South Africans are of the view that the country’s corruption will be heightened should Russia win the nuclear deal.
Concerned by Russia’s involvement in the nuclear deal, Corruption Watch warned that that South Africa will fall deeper in the snares of corruption should Russia finds its way into the deal.
The warning came after Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index showed South Africa had improved its ranking marginally from 2015.
The media were quick to pick the news that Rosatom had submitted its actual bid in January, after news agency Reuters stated: “Russian state nuclear agency Rosatom has submitted a bid for SA nuclear programme, TASS news agency cited the company’s general director Alexei Likhachev as saying on Tuesday.”
However, Rosatom told Fin24 on 25 January that Likhachev was only referring to Rosatom’s decision to respond.