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|PROJECT|Projects|Safety|SECURITY|Africa|Energy|Nuclear|Power
© 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 14 minutes ago The developers behind the large-scale mixed-use residential development, the “holistic” R20-billion Coega Ridge housing estate, outside Port Elizabeth, in the Eastern Cape, have confirmed that the project remains on track to break ground in 2018 and will likely slash...
Updated 21 minutes ago Telecommunication giants MTN and Vodafone have collaborated to deliver seamless transactions between their respective Mobile Money and M-Pesa mobile money services in East Africa. A memorandum of understanding between the parties would see customers of MTN’s Mobile...
Updated 54 minutes ago JSE-listed integrated information and communication technology systems provider Datacentrix posted higher earnings for the financial year ended February 2015. The group achieved a 16.4% increase in earnings from R89-million in the year ended February 2014 to...
Recent Research Reports
Steel 2015: A review of South Africa's steel sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Steel 2015 report provides an overview of the key developments in the global steel industry and particularly of South Africa’s steel sector over the past year, including details of production and consumption, as well as the country's primary carbon...
Projects in Progress 2015 - First Edition (PDF Report)
In fact, this edition of Creamer Media’s Projects in Progress 2015 supplement tracks developments taking place under the Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme, which has had four bidding rounds. It appears to remain a shining light on the...
Electricity 2015: A review of South Africa's electricity sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Electricity 2015 report provides an overview of State-owned power utility Eskom and independent power producers, as well as electricity planning, transmission, distribution and the theft thereof, besides other issues.
Construction 2015: A review of South Africa’s construction sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Construction 2015 Report examines South Africa’s construction industry over the past 12 months. The report provides insight into the business environment; the key participants in the sector; local construction demand; geographic diversification;...
Liquid Fuels 2014 - A review of South Africa's Liquid Fuels sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Liquid Fuels 2014 Report examines these issues, focusing on the business environment, oil and gas exploration, the country’s feedstock supplies, the development of South Africa’s biofuels industry, fuel pricing, competition in the sector, the...
Water 2014: A review of South Africa's water sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Water 2014 report considers the aforementioned issues, not only in the South African context, but also in the African and global context, and examines the issues of water and sanitation, water quality and the demand for water, among others.
This Week's Magazine
Today’s organisations execute projects within increasingly complex environments – particularly in the engineering sector. The ability to successfully execute these projects is what drives the realisation of successful projects and, ultimately, the achievement of...
South Africa’s distribution grid is a twentieth-century relic, which must be changed to serve the country’s modern electricity needs, says South African National Energy Development Institute (Sanedi) Smart Grid Programme manager Dr Minnesh Bipath. “What we are...
There is a disparity in government funding provided to integrated transport networks – bus rapid transit (BRT) networks ¬¬– and that given to conventional bus services, says Putco executive director Thys Heyns. “We have neglected and strangled conventional bus...
The Johannesburg Social Housing Company (Joshco) is building 502 rental housing units, valued at R200-million, in Dobsonville, Soweto, which are scheduled for completion in June 2016.
Automotive component manufacturer and distributor Metair is centralising its research and development (R&D) work in Turkey, in an attempt to bolster the company’s ability to produce affordable start/stop batteries. The new R&D centre is part of an expansion plan in...