Nuclear companies seeking to sell their reactor designs to South Africa should take care to ensure that their localisation programmes incorporate black economic empowerment (BEE), warned Westinghouse Electric South Africa regional VP Professor Itumeleng Mosala on Tuesday. He was addressing the Nuclear Africa 2013 conference in Midrand.
"The relationship between localisation and BEE – from my sense of where the government is, the political situation, we ought to find a way in which localisation and BEE are interacting quite well," he asserted. "The industry will ignore at its peril the relationship between localisation and BEE."
"Today's new [nuclear] build requires a global supply chain and a significant in-country content," he affirmed. "We aim to 'buy were we build' as much as possible." Westinghouse always seeks to work with local players.
"The whole issue of the supply chain becomes particularly important," he stated. "We cannot be classed simply as a US vendor, but as a global supplier with a strong emphasis on local content. This [approach] will be applied to other markets, not least South Africa. We supply all over the world and our suppliers are from all over the world. We can start doing business now -- we don't have to wait for when the [South African] new build comes."
The group is active around the world, including new build programmes, projects and proposals in China, the US and UK. It is currently building its latest reactor design, the AP1000, in China. The first unit should start generating electricity next year. Mosala highlighted that the Chinese programme has "a very strong emphasis on technology transfer and localisation of AP1000 technologies".