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Russian energy group main contender in new nuclear deal after previous deals struck down: report

Russian energy group main contender in new nuclear deal after previous deals struck down: report

Russian energy group Rosatom is once again the headline contender for South Africa’s nuclear expansion project – and the country will award the contract by the end of the year, the South African Nuclear Energy Corporation (Necsa) said on Monday,  speaking to Reuters.

Besides Rosatom, major nuclear firms from South Korea, France, the United States and China are interested in bidding for it, confirmed Necsa chairman, Kelvin Kemm on the sidelines of a nuclear conference in Moscow.

“We are aiming for this to be done before the end of the year, and we very imminently want to start,” said Kemm.

“Rosatom is definitely in there, but a decision has not been finally made. That will be a decision made by the senior politicians in collaboration with the technological and the company people,” he said.

South Africa’s nuclear deals were disrupted in April this year after the High Court deemed a nuclear cooperation pact with Russia unlawful. The court found that the tender was illegal and not in line with constitutionally sound administrative decision-making.

Judge Lee Bozalek also declared that the minister’s decision over the same time period to table certain other nuclear agreements before Parliament were also unlawful and unconstitutional and struck down all other cooperation agreements agreed to by the minister including partnerships with the USA and the Republic of Korea.

Necsa’s Kemm said on Monday that the court ruling had delayed the country’s plans by a couple of months but that the deal should still be completed by 2017.

In May, state-controlled Rosatom said it was still committed to taking part in a competitive bidding process to build nuclear plants in South Africa, reports Reuters.

Rosatom was created in 2007 from the Russian Atomic Energy Ministry with a view to turning nuclear power into a major export industry for Russia.

In response to a question as to whether Rosatom was a leading contender for the planned nuclear expansion, Kemm said: “Absolutely, Rosatom is a very important player”.

Read: South Africa’s power utility: so many red flags it’s hard to know where to start

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  • Konstabel Koekemoer

    No surprise since Zuma signed the deal with the Russians years ago and the tender is just a farce. We must do everything in our power to stop this corrupt deal as this will end up totally bankrupting South Africa and making us the slaves of the Russians.

    • Paul van Zyl

      We should do everything in our power to procure the best corruption free nuclear deal for South Africa, if we really have the welfare of South Africa and its people at heart. The vast majority has been mislead by a well coordinated propaganda campaign against nuclear power, which has its roots in the mistaken elitist theory that restricting abundant energy to the masses will curb population growth. If you do not believe me check out Malthus, Club of Rome, Paul Ralph Ehrlich. Power to the people demands nuclear power.

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