South Africa has announced the initiation of a 2,500 MW new nuclear procurement process, with plans to launch Requests for Proposals (RFP) by March 2024.
The National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA) approved the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) to launch the procurement process after meeting certain conditions, which included establishing a demand and generation profile analysis and ensuring that engineering, procurement and construction contract principles would be utilized during the procurement phase.
South Africa’s Minister of Electricity, Dr. Kgosientsho Ramokgopa, confirmed that the DMRE submitted a comprehensive report to NERSA last July and that the government will open a tender for new nuclear power by mid-2030.
The decision aligns with the country’s Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) 2019, which calls for new nuclear capacity. Meanwhile, the IRP 2023 – which was recently approved by South Africa’s Cabinet – states that expanded nuclear power will likely only be deployed from 2030.
South Africa currently operates the only nuclear power plant on the continent – the 1,940 MW Koeberg nuclear power station, which is owned and operated by state-run power utility Eskom. While the Koeberg plant currently produces five percent of domestic power, the government has expressed interest in increasing nuclear capacity to as much as 10,000 MW.