South Africa has not signed any nuclear deal, Eskom said on Monday.
Responding to last week’s media reports alleging that a nuclear deal has been signed, Eskom reiterated the remarks made by National Treasury that no deal has been signed.
“Eskom expects to issue a full Request for Proposal (RFP) to the open market once the Request for Information (RFI) has been assessed and the relevant approvals have been obtained,” said Eskom Chief Nuclear Officer Dave Nicholls.
Nicholls said the power utility has not received any formal proposals from potential suppliers and has not signed any power plant procurement agreements.
“Eskom has not undertaken any prequalification assessment to date related to the potential respondents to a potential RFP,” he said.
Eskom was designated by Cabinet in November 2016 as the procuring organisation for the nuclear power plants in the Nuclear New Build Programme, in line with the 2008 Nuclear Energy Policy and the Integrated Resource Plan (IRP 2010).
Subsequently, the Minister of Energy, in consultation with the chair of the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA), gazetted a Section 34 determination on 14 December designating Eskom, under the Energy Regulation Act, for this capacity.
Eskom, in conjunction with the Nuclear Energy Corporation of South Africa (NECSA), issued a non-binding RFI to the open market on 20 December, which will close on 28 April 2017.
The Department of Energy has said that the funding model of South Africa’s nuclear build programme will be determined by the response received from bidders.
South Africa plans to introduce 9 600 Megawatts of nuclear energy to the grid in the next decade.
“The funding model of the project will be determined by the response received from the markets once bidders have responded to the RFP. This will also be done at a pace and scale that government can afford,” said the department.