South Africa has become only the third country to host a marketing office of Russia’s State-owned nuclear energy group Rosatom. The registration of the office was announced by the group on Wednesday.
South Africa plans to develop 9.6 GW of nuclear energy capacity by 2030 with a new nuclear power plant (NPP) building programme. (The other two countries with Rosatom marketing offices are Ukraine and Singapore.)
“Local presence is one of the most important criteria for a global company,” pointed out Rosatom International Business and Development deputy director-general Kirill Komarov. “Given that South Africa has extensive plans for [the] development of nuclear energy, building a mutually advantageous partnership with this country is a priority for us.”
In addition to promoting and marketing Russian nuclear technologies in South Africa, the new office will serve to develop relationships with the local regulatory agencies and the scientific community. Furthermore, it will be responsible for establishing connections with the South African business community, including industrial and financial companies.
The office will also be responsible for the development of relationships with local partners in order to fulfill the memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed between Rosatom and the South African Atomic Energy Corporation (better known as Necsa) last month. Under this MoU the two companies will develop joint business projects covering radioisotope production and marketing, nuclear fuel fabrication and power equipment manufacturing for NPPs, among other areas.
“We fully support our South African partners in their efforts to implement a serious programme of national nuclear energy development,” assured Rusatom Overseas director-general Alexey Kalinin. “Rosatom’s integrated offer in NPP construction may be of interest to our partners, since together with safe and referential VVER [Russian pressurised water reactor] technology it envisages a variety of financial solutions and ability to maximise the involvement of the local industry.”
Rusatom (spelt with a u) Overseas is a subsidiary of Rosatom (spelt with an o). Another Rosatom subsidiary, Tenex, already supplies enriched uranium products for the production of nuclear fuel for South Africa. The country currently has one two-reactor NPP, at Koeberg near Cape Town, which has a capacity of 1 800 MWe. This started operation in 1984.