Funding secured for new nuclear plant

The new 2.5GW nuclear power plant has been announced by Energy Minister Kgosientsho Ramakgopa, 50% bigger than Koeberg. The location has not been finalised.





Jul 8, 2024

Funding secured for new nuclear plant

South Africa's Energy Minister, Kgosientsho Ramokgopa, has announced plans to secure funding approval for a new 2.5GW nuclear power plant, aiming to enhance the country's electricity supply, according to a report by the Sunday Times.

Ramokgopa, who first introduced the plan last December, revealed that work on the project is at an advanced stage. A dedicated team is currently negotiating the deal and finalising the procurement structure. The minister hopes to receive approval from the national treasury by next month. However, the site for the plant and various technical details are still being finalised.

The proposed power station would surpass the capacity of the Koeberg plant, located north of Cape Town, which is South Africa’s only existing nuclear power plant and generates 1.94GW of energy.

Ramokgopa highlighted the advantages of the latest nuclear technology, stating it is "very rapid to deploy, relatively cheaper, and more efficient." He added, "We must resolve the issues of who will operate the plant, but I think I can say before we even conclude that it will be Eskom, as Eskom has the experience, having done that at Koeberg."

Eskom, the national electricity provider, has faced significant challenges in supplying adequate power to South Africans due to its ageing infrastructure, compounded by issues of mismanagement and corruption.

The ongoing energy crisis has severely impacted economic activity, resulting in a GDP growth of just 0.7% in 2023, the slowest rate of expansion since the pandemic in 2020.

Despite these challenges, Eskom reported an improvement in its generating performance, noting that it has not implemented rolling power cuts for over 100 days.

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