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South Africa’s financially difficult nuclear ambitions

South Africa to develop plan for new 2,500 MW nuclear plant, CAPE TOWN, May 7 (Reuters) – South Africa will soon start developing a plan for a new 2,500 megawatt (MW) nuclear power plant, the energy ministry told lawmakers on Thursday.

Africa’s most industrialised economy, which operates the continent’s only nuclear power plant near Cape Town, said last year that it was considering adding more nuclear capacity in the long term, after abandoning in 2018 a massive nuclear expansion championed by former president Jacob Zuma.

Analysts had expressed serious concern about Zuma’s project for a fleet of nuclear plants totalling 9,600 MW because it would have put massive additional strain on public finances at a time of credit rating downgrades. …..

The presentation showed South Africa wanted to complete the procurement of the new nuclear plant by 2024 but gave no indication as to when it wanted construction of the plant to start or for when the plant would come online……

financing those nuclear ambitions could be difficult at a time that the country’s recession-hit economy is being hammered by the coronavirus pandemic, with this year’s budget deficit expected to stretch into double digits.

Answering questions, Energy Minister Gwede Mantashe said on Thursday that the government would first “test the market” and hear what potential investors or consortia had to say about building the new nuclear facility……

May 11, 2020 - Posted by | politics, USA

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