The Nuclear Industry Association of South Africa (Niasa) has welcomed the announcement by Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson that the request for proposals (RFP) for the procurement of nuclear power stations will start on September 30.
It stressed that local content and skills development should be the founding principles on which selection of a winning vendor are based.
Niasa MD Knox Msebenzi stated that the project would not only support industry and create much needed employment, but also create a platform upon which the economy could grow and develop.
The association further called for a more robust debate on the nuclear build programme and meaningful public participation during all key decision-making throughout the procurement and build phases, taking into consideration key lessons from previous large-scale infrastructure projects in the country.
The official RFP and the response of vendors will be the first indication of what nuclear energy will cost the fiscus, allowing an accurate allocation of nuclear capacity as part of the energy mix.
“It is up to government to find the optimal financing with the multiple objectives of security of electrical power supply and economic development.
“Whatever model is chosen, it should ideally have sufficient flexibility to allow for adjustments of the timing of the construction of the fleet over the planned horizon,” Msebenzi added.