South African companies would be able to supply about 40% of all services related to the planned nuclear power plants (NPPs) required to meet the targets set out in the Department of Energy's Integrated Resource Plan (IRP), finance enterprise Rosatom Overseas VP Ivo Kouklik said Monday.

The IRP stipulates that South Africa's power generation mix should include 13.4% nuclear or at least 9.6 GW nuclear capacity by 2030, with the first plants to go on line in 2022/23.

“South Africa has a sufficient production base to deliver civil works and part of the mechanical and electrical components,” Kouklik told delegates at the Russian Nuclear Energy Technology and Solutions seminar, in Sandton, Johannesburg.

Russian power engineering company Atomenergomash representative Bulat Nareev added that up to 80% of power equipment for new nuclear plants in South Africa could be manufactured locally.

“There exist significant opportunities for local companies to get involved in the supply chain and it will be in the interest of vendors to include them,” Nuclear Industries Association of South Africa president Rob Adam reiterated.

He suggested that thresholds be placed on bids in terms of the level of localisation and that this should increase as the project progressed.

In addition to social and economic benefits such as job creation, technology transfer and increased revenue for local companies and government, local procurement of services would be cheaper and result in significant savings.

Kouklik stated that about 15 000 jobs would be created if eight units were constructed. Local companies could generate revenues of about $15-billion, while tax income would bring in about $3.4-billion for the government.

Russian State-owned nuclear company Rosatom said it would be taking part in the bidding process to construct NPPs in South Africa.

Head of international business Alexey Kalinin noted that the company was interested in establishing a strategic long-term nuclear partnership with South Africa and that localisation was central to its approach.

He told Engineering News Online that the scale and timeline associated with the technology transfer and facility construction of NPPs in South Africa depended on an announcement from government regarding its plans to construct additional nuclear generation capacity.

“If the South African government decides to take a fleet approach, it would give us good reason to broaden our scope in terms of the scale of the NPP construction project,” he stated.

Although the South African bidding process to build new NPPs was expected to be completed by 2013, Kalinin said it was also subject to the nature and timing of government's announcement of the route it would follow to construct future nuclear capacity.

Earlier this month, Energy Minister Dipuo Peters stated that to date, no directive had been given on the issue of the nuclear programme and that information in this regard would be released in due course.

Kalinin said that international nuclear demand was growing despite the Fukushima nuclear disaster, in Japan, last year.

“Most of this demand will come from newcomers and large-scale NPP programmes in countries such as South Africa and India,” he explained.

If appointed preferred bidder, Rosatom would set up its pressurised water reactors VVER 1200. The Generation 3+ reactors offer 1 400 reactor years and is suitable for various grid conditions.

With the technology, the company provides an integrated solution that is tailored according to customer specifications. Assistance is provided with regard to skills and funds transfer, fuel supply, as well as industrial and regulation development.
Source: Engineering News