Feb 24, 2012
SA wants local industry to gear up to supply nuclear programmeBack
Construction|Expertise|Africa|Building|CoAL|Coal-fired Power Station|Eskom|Industrial|Nuclear|Power|PROJECT|Projects|Safety|SECURITY|Technology|Africa|Energy
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
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor
To subscribe email firstname.lastname@example.org or click here
To advertise email email@example.com or click here
Other News This Week News
Updated 29 minutes ago South African National Roads Agency CEO on Wednesday said the backlog of maintenance and road networks was sitting at R197-billion, up from R149-billionn in 2010. CEO Nazir Alli was addressing the business sector at the Beverly Hills Hotel in Umhlanga. He said...
Updated 40 minutes ago South African Minister of Science and Technology Naledi Pandor launched three new chairs within the South African Research Chairs Initiative (SARChI) as part of the South Africa and United Kingdom (UK) bilateral research chair initiative. Pandor said that the...
Recent Research Reports
Energy Roundup – May 2016 (PDF Report)
The May 2016 roundup covers activities across South Africa for April 2016 and includes details of the National Energy Regulator of South Africa’s proposal to introduce a coal benchmark cost as part of its final decision on Eskom’s multiyear price determination...
Automotive 2016: A review of South Africa's automotive sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Automotive 2016 Report provides an overview of South Africa’s automotive industry over the past 12 months. The report provides insight into local demand and production, vehicle imports and exports, investment and competitiveness in the sector, as well...
Energy Roundup – April 2016 (PDF Report)
The April 2016 roundup covers activities across South Africa for March 2016 and includes details of a North Gauteng High Court Judge’s dismissal of a court application to postpone the 9.4% electricity tariff increase, which the National Energy Regulator of South...
Electricity 2016: A review of South Africa's electricity sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Electricity 2016 report provides an overview of South Africa’s electricity sector, focusing on State-owned power utility Eskom and independent power producers, electricity planning, transmission, distribution and the theft thereof, besides other issues.
Energy Roundup – March 2016 (PDF Report)
The March 2016 roundup covers activities across South Africa for February 2016 and includes details of the Department of Energy’s plans to announce the preferred bidders for the first tranche of the coal independent power producer procurement programme; the Council...
Steel 2016: A review of South Africa's steel sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Steel 2016 Report examines South Africa’s steel industry over the past 12 months. The report provides insight into the global steel market and and particularly into South South Africa’s steel sector, including production and consumption, main...
This Week's Magazine
The two spent-fuel pools at Eskom’s 1 800 MW Koeberg nuclear power station, in the Western Cape, will be full by 2018, increasing the urgency on the State-owned utility to begin pursuing alternative storage options. Koeberg has, over the past 32 years, accumulated a...
South Africa lacks the skills necessary to implement the government’s plan to build 9.6 GWe of new nuclear energy capacity, warns nuclear-qualified Quality Strategies International CEO David Crawford. “Apart from the concern about the affordability of the programme,...
Cybersecurity multinational Check Point has released its latest 700-series cybersecurity systems for small businesses, which draw on its international threat intelligence to provide up-to-date cybersecurity, says Check Point South Africa country manager Doros...
Daimler Trucks and Buses Southern Africa (DTBSA) saw a marked slip in new-vehicle sales in 2015 compared with 2014, with sales dropping from 5 897 units to 5 300 units. The decline came as the South African new truck and bus market declined from 31 558 units in 2014...
Group of 20 (G-20) economies threatened to penalise havens that don’t share information on their banking clients after the leak of the Panama Papers provoked a global uproar over tax evasion. The G-20 will consider “defensive measures” against financial centers and...