SA companies to benefit from nuclear build – 80% locally sourced

South African construction and industries will benefit hugely from the nuclear build program, which Nuclear Energy Corporation of South Africa (NECSA) has confirmed will go ahead.

Last week, NECSA CEO Phumzile Tshelane told Johannesburg-based Talk Radio 702 the country’s two choices to increase continuous power are coal and nuclear as other methods are not viable given the deteriorating climate. “It will go ahead – we do not have an option,” he said adding the SA Cabinet is “poised to make a decision” on the way forward soon.

According to Nuclear Energy Insider’s Michael Vickery,  the tendering process is expected to get underway in early 2016 and the government aims to ensure almost 80% of the construction work will come from local suppliers.  This, he says,  means SA construction companies, engineers, waste management system suppliers, security systems providers, cabling, cement, steel, finance, IT firms etc will have a chance to bid for a part of the multi-billion dollar new build program over the coming months  – even if they have not been involved in the nuclear business to date.

Clarification on the procurement process is expected at the Nuclear Supply Chain Conference  in Cape Town 1-2 December,  Vickery says. To help potential suppliers get up to speed with the strict standards and compliance required, a special workshop is taking place as part of the conference for companies that need to know about ASME and N-Stamp standards required to develop and build a self-sufficient nuclear workforce.

Vickery further says nuclear power is intended to provide 9 600 MW of electricity into the national grid by 2029 to address the power supply crisis and prevent the shortages which have seen rolling blackouts and heavy industry forced to cut back on production.

The country has signed nuclear cooperation accords with Russia, China, France the US, Japan and South Korea. It is awaiting signature of a similar agreement with Canada, according to Tshelane. Estimates for the build program for up to eight reactors range from $37bn to $100bn.

Currently, state owned enterprise Eskom owns and operates Africa’s only nuclear power plant, Koeberg, near Cape Town, which supplies about 4% of SA’s power.

Also at the conference, representatives from the companies bidding for the main build contract – France’s Areva and EDF, the China Guangdong Nuclear Power Group and Rosatom – will be available to discuss opportunities and challenges, Vickery said. The Department of Energy (DOE), NECSA and Eskom will also attend.

An important issue on the agenda is South Africa’s nuclear waste management and decommissioning options to help develop the long-term nuclear energy plan.

Expert speakers include Dr Bismark Tyobeka, CEO National Nuclear Regulator; John Moore, Localisation and Procurement Specialist, IAEA; Gordon Procter, Engineering Specialist Nuclear Reactor and Instrumentation, NECSA; Viktor Polikarpov, Regional Vice President Sub Saharan Africa, Rosatom; Leon Louw, Executive Director, Free Market Foundation; Fawzi Issa, Managing Director, EDF South Africa

Vickery says: “Attendees will learn about key features and timelines of the procurement process and gain valuable insight into how the long construction lead times will affect the supply chain procurement process. It  is the best opportunity to get ahead of the game and be part of one of the best opportunities for SA construction since the 2010 soccer world cup, and the last chance in 2015”.

Interested companies can call +44 (0) 20 7375 7177

Edited by St Francis Chronicle

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