Aug 30, 2013
DoE says nuclear to be part of SA mix and Eskom may have partnersBack
Port|Port Elizabeth|Africa|CoAL|Eskom|Gas|Industrial|Nuclear|PROJECT|Projects|Africa|South Africa|Energy|Energy Mix|Energy Projects|Nuclear|Nuclear Energy|Jacob Zuma|Nelisiwe Magubane|Power|South Africa
© Reuse this
“I need to remind everyone present here today that the government of South Africa has long made a decision to implement the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) 2010-2030, and is committed to nuclear power as stipulated in the IRP,” she stated. “As a government official, let me reiterate again, in March 2011, the executive, that is Cabinet, decided that 9 600 MW of energy in this country will be developed using nuclear energy.”
Although the IRP 2010-2030 is being reviewed, this is unlikely to eliminate nuclear energy from the mix. “Preliminary results indicate that if we intend to reduce our carbon footprint and also have a vibrant economic growth, nuclear energy will be part of the solution,” she pointed out. “It is a known fact that nuclear power will be the most affordable baseload option after coal. Given our climate change commitments, and the fact that some of the coal-fired power stations will retire around 2022 and require replacement, therefore nuclear power is becoming more of a necessity than an option.” The DoE has received Cabinet approval to publish its Integrated Energy Plan.
The government had decided last year that “the owner-operator of the new nuclear power plants being [sic] Eskom as the major shareholder,” she pointed out. “To assist with obtaining good financing and bring in operational experience, we are looking at various ownership options for the nuclear power plants such as an investor or equity partner to join forces with Eskom in the nuclear new build.”
“One of the projects that [is] currently haunting us is [Eskom’s] Medupi [coal-fired] power plant delays,” she highlighted. “A whole thesis can be developed on what went wrong on this project. For us as a department, we believe that there are valuable lessons that can be learned and incorporated in [the] future design of other energy projects, especially our nuclear build programme.” But “[w]e are of the view that nuclear energy can be deployed successfully, built on time and budget. Most of the Asian countries can attest to that.”
Magubane noted that the National Nuclear Energy Executive Coordinating Committee had recently been uprated and streamlined. It was now headed by President Jacob Zuma instead of by the Deputy President and included six Cabinet Ministers in place of the previous 12. This restructuring was designed to increase efficiency and decrease decision-making time. “I would like to inform everyone that there’s a lot of work happening in the background towards the rollout of the nuclear programme.”
She pointed out that the government “needs high quality advice in order to take appropriate decisions” and lamented that, although the government had been “very active” in seeking advisers, some of the preparatory work for the nuclear programme had been “less than satisfactory”. She reported that “there are many more advisory services [that] we are seeking, before and during execution of this programme.”
“I therefore challenge Niasa to also look closely on these challenges and do introspection,” she asserted. “Questions that Niasa need to ask is [sic] – do we have enough artisans and what is our plan to grow them if not? The truth is, there is a lot of homework to be done to see South Africa reach her full industrial capabilities.”
She pointed to the Department of Science and Technology’s South African Nuclear Human Assets Resource Programme and its new outgrowth, the Energy Human Capital Development and Knowledge Generation Programme. She also referred to the industrialisation programmes of the Department of Trade and Industry. “We are encouraging collaborations between [the] public and private sectors to implement available strategies to establish our local industry.”
She affirmed that South Africa’s probable shale gas reserves were not an alternative to, but rather a complement for, nuclear energy. “One can play a major role in electricity provision whereas the other provides us with a portable source of energy that can be used more efficiently directly. We are working on policies to ensure efficient use of all our energy sources. This is why we prefer to talk of a balanced energy mix."
Edited by: Martin Zhuwakinyu© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Other Electricity News
Recent Research Reports
Real Economy Year Book 2014 (PDF Report)
This edition drills down into the performance and outlook for a variety of sectors, including automotive, construction, electricity, transport, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum.
Real Economy Insight: Automotive 2014 (PDF Report)
This four-page brief covers key developments in the automotive industry over the past 12 months, including an overview of South Africa’s automotive market, trade figures, production and the policies influencing the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Construction 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the construction industry over the past 12 months. It provides an overview of the sector and includes details of employment in the sector, infrastructure and municipal spending, as well as insight into companies’...
Real Economy Insight: Electricity 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the electricity industry over the past 12 months, including details of State-owned power utility Eskom’s generation activities, funding and tariffs, independent power producers and prospects for the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Road and Rail 2014 (PDF Report)
This six-page brief covers key developments in the road and rail industries over the past 12 months, including details of South Africa’s road and rail network and prospects for both sectors.
Real Economy Insight: Steel 2014 (PDF Report)
This four-page brief covers key developments in the steel industry over the past 12 months. It provides an overview of the global and South African steel and stainless steel markets, South Africa’s major steel producers and events that have shaped these markets.
This Week's Magazine
Updated 3 hours ago South African construction company Group Five says work on the rehabilitation of the 800 km stretch of the Plumtree–Mutare highway, in Zimbabwe, should be completed by the end of this year. Giving evidence before the Parliamentary Porfolio Committee on Transport...
Updated 3 hours ago The Space Operations division of the South African National Space Agency (Sansa) revealed on July 17 that it had supported the successful launch of the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 (OCO-2) satellite on July 2. The...
Updated 3 hours ago Phase 1A of Johannesburg’s Rea Vaya bus rapid transit (BRT) system should carry around 42 000 people a day, while it was been expected that Phase 1B, rolled out last year, would add another 60 000 daily passengers. However, the entire system is currently carrying...
Updated 3 hours ago A stormwater project in Bedforview, east of Johannesburg, has stalled for eight months after project managers in the Ekurhuleni municipality resigned and municipal managers were placed on special leave without designating replacements. Construction to reinforce the...
Updated 3 hours ago The design of the Beit Bridge border post is the biggest impediment to efficient freight movement between Zimbabwe and South Africa, says Cross-border Road Transport Agency CEO Sipho Khumalo. Beit Bridge is the busiest border post in Africa. A research study on the...