The Department of Energy plans to appoint a service provider on “the economic impact of localisation for the nuclear programme”.
And, it states in the terms of reference that construction of Nuclear 1, expected to be at Thyspunt near Oyster Bay, will start in 2017.
Construction of the plant could provide a major economic boost for the Eastern Cape and specifically Nelson Mandela Bay.
Economic Development, Environmental Affairs and Tourism MEC Mcebisi Jonas has warned, however, that rebuilding a nuclear supply chain in South Africa and the Eastern Cape “will require targeted supplier development programmes which allow local existing firms to register and comply with the rigorous nuclear industry-related standards and regulatory requirements”.
Jonas has called for partnerships and joint ventures between local firms and foreign nuclear suppliers.
The announcement by the department follows a statement by President Jacob Zuma in his State of the Nation Address last week that Government expected “to conclude the procurement of 9 600MW of nuclear energy”.
The department points out that the “economic rationale” for localisation is that it will build industrial capacity, promote technology and skills transfer from the “main nuclear vendors” and
suppliers of nuclear-grade components to the South African industry and promote joint ventures, consortia and partnerships for marketing and sales.
In addition, it states, the aim will be to enhance exports into the global nuclear supply chain; create high-level and value-add direct jobs and intellectual property; support a knowledge-based economy and contribute to GDP growth.
The department says on conclusion of the four-month study, it wishes to be in a position to identify “the optimum localisation targets for the nuclear new build programme”.
Further, it says, it will be able to identify which components to prioritise for localisation.
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