Feb 24, 2012
SA wants local industry to gear up to supply nuclear programmeBack
Construction|Expertise|SECURITY|Africa|CoAL|Energy|Eskom|Industrial|Nuclear|PROJECT|Projects|Safety|Security|Africa|Europe|South Africa|Security|Electricity|Energy|Nuclear|Nuclear Technologies|Proposed Nuclear Energy Construction Programme|Security|Technology Vendors|Nelisiwe Magubane|Phumzile Tshelane|Power|Rob King|Security
© Reuse this
The Integrated Resource Plan for electricity indicated that South Africa could build 9 600 MW of nuclear capacity by 2030.
State power utility Eskom had also indicated that it would like to replace some of its aging coal-fired capacity with nuclear plants in order to reduce its carbon footprint, while ensuring supply security.
Should the programme proceed, government would insist on the development of a local supplier sector to create industrial opportunities and jobs around what could be a R1-trillion build programme.
“We have set goals to establish a value chain of industries capable of supplying as much as possible local content for the construction of . . . multiple nuclear power stations,” she said.
Government would also seek to develop partnerships with the private sector to address specific skills gaps that could undermine locali- sation efforts.
Magubane suggested that government develop a nuclear construction ‘culture’ in South Africa and expose artisans to the latest in nuclear technologies. She recommended that such activities be consolidated in technological hubs where niche skills qualifications could be obtained.
“We plan to achieve this through the accurate prediction and planning of the specific requirements of the proposed nuclear programmes to be undertaken, while we would, at the same time, undertake familiarisation exercises with existing technology vendors that are able to contribute to such future programmes,” she said.
The DoE would be focusing on programmes to establish a local nuclear vendor programme, with the eventual aim of establishing a ‘South Africa Incorporated’ African nuclear power station market.
To realise this aspiration, the DoE was developing frameworks on the establishment of public–private partnerships, the rules governing the programme, as well as the roll-out timeframes ahead of actual construction of the proposed plants.
“This would be well regulated in the interests of safety and would be undertaken with the appropriate government regulatory participation, including that of State-owned power utility Eskom.
We would definitely have to incorporate the lessons learned from the construction of the Medupi and Kusile coal-fired power stations,” she said.
However, DCD MD Rob King argued that South Africa already had much of the technology, as well as the skills, although not in the required numbers, to undertake nuclear projects.
He pointed to South Africa being a coal-fired power station construction powerhouse back in the 1970s and 1980s, when the country constructed about 22 power stations in a period of about ten years. “Up to 90% of the power stations’ content was locally manufactured back then. What happened? Where has this capacity gone to now?” he asked.
Although many of the people with the necessary skills needed for the construction of a nuclear power station had left South Africa, a core group remained and there was an opportunity to upscale the skills base, possibly by using expertise from Europe, where the economic crisis had resulted in fewer prospects for such individuals.
“A number of local companies could play a significant role in building new nuclear developments in South Africa. Many people do not know it, but DCD (formerly DCD-Dorbyl) had been significantly involved in the construction of South Africa’s main nuclear research facility, Pelindaba, and the country’s sole nuclear power station, Koeberg, in the Western Cape, providing a record of local nuclear construction experience,” he explained.
Nuclear Industry Association of South Africa VP Phumzile Tshelane echoed Magubane’s sentiment that government needed to be involved in ensuring high levels of local content, possibly by stipulating a minimum local component threshold of 30%.
“Focused skills development needs to take place, but in a specific South African nuclear context,” he said.
He did, however, concede that the time available to train specialised artisans for the nuclear sector was a challenge, as government wanted to get the project started.
He also noted that extensive public consultation processes would still need to be under- taken.
Edited by: Martin Zhuwakinyu© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Other News This Week News
Updated 3 minutes ago Redefine Properties CEO Marc Wainer has been appointed executive chairperson, succeeding Dines Gihwala, who resigned in June, citing personal reasons. Redefine FD Andrew Konig has been appointed CEO and a new FD will be recruited in due course.
Updated 1 hour 4 minutes ago Former president Thabo Mbeki has suggested that African intelligentsia be brought back into crucial processes, as was the case in the 1960s and 70s, to help with the continent's "pressing strategic" problems. "I would like to suggest that the African intelligentsia...
Updated 1 hour 19 minutes ago Two non-governmental organisations (NGOs) raised concerns on Thursday about Sanral's application for certain court documents and court hearings to be kept secret. "Our concern is that the degree of secrecy that is being imposed is greater than is necessary to protect...
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
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...