Confusion reigns over SAfrica’s RFP for nuclear build programme

African News Agency (ANA)

Confusion reigns over SAfrica’s RFP for nuclear build programme
ANC government intends adding 9.6 gigawatts of nuclear energy to the national power grid

There appears to be confusion on whether South Africa will issue a request for proposals for its nuclear energy build programme by Friday as promised by Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson.

At a media briefing of cabinet’s economic sectors, employment and infrastructure development cluster on Tuesday, Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor contradicted an energy official saying she was not sure the RFP would be issued this week.

Energy department spokeswoman Thandiwe Maimane first told journalists: “What is happening on Friday is, as the minister announced on the 7th of September, that the RFP [request for proposals] will be issued by the department towards the beginning of the implementation of the…nuclear programme.”

But, when Pandor was pressed on the wisdom of proceeding with the RFP without an updated Integrated Resource Plan (IRP) – South Africa’s comprehensive 20 year electricity generation plan, which is already years out of date, the minister said she was not sure the September 30 deadline could be met.

“On the IRP, our next cluster meeting is set to discuss the next iteration of this as well as the IEP [integrated energy plan] and once we’ve processed what is proposed as a cluster we would then take that to the formal cabinet process and once that has been done we will of course share the decisions as well as the documents with the public,” said Pandor.

“I’m not certain, despite your insistence, that we would be able to proceed with a call for proposals immediately this week. That was not my understanding from what was said and I think it is important to for us to have agreed the IRP at minimum before we proceed so I cannot comment on what minister Joemat-Pettersson is planning for Friday, but I’m almost certain that she wouldn’t be able to publish the RFP on that date but let’s wait to see.”

Maimane also later backtracked, saying: “As a department we can verify this date and come back to the interested journalists.”

The issuing of the RFP would test the markets before a funding model is developed for what many predict will be a very expensive procurement programme.

South Africa intends to procure 9600 megawatts of nuclear energy.

Joemat-Pettersson told MPs in Parliament earlier in September that she had cabinet approval to issue the request for proposals and that this would be done on September 30.

South Africa Today – South Africa News

SOURCE African News Agency (ANA)