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PRETORIA, December 20. /TASS/. South Africa’s energy monopoly Eskom has published a no-obligation request for information (RFI) as part of its planned tender to build nuclear power plants with a capacity of 9,600 megawatts (MW).
Companies from five states, including Russia, are expected to place their bids.
‘We welcome the release of the request for information and remain an interested party," Rosatom Regional Vice-President of Sub-Saharan Africa Victor Polikarpov told TASS.
The company seeks to gather information including "experience related to recent nuclear project capacities and costs, proposed financing solutions and localisation opportunities." The RFI process will not create any financial commitments or obligations on Eskom or the Government of the Republic of South Africa.
The parties will have to confirm their participation until January 31 and submit information on the tender until April 28, 2017.
"It is the first step, things will go faster after it," said Kelvin Kemm, who chairs the state-run South African Nuclear Energy Corporation SOC Limited (Necsa).
He said the first reactor is expected to go on stream in 2026.
South Africa, home to the continent’s only nuclear power plant, was expected to announce an NPP construction tender in 2008 in a bid to reduce its reliance on ageing coal power stations. The announcement was postponed until 2014 and later delayed again until the first quarter of 2016.
Under the South African government’s decision, Necsa will manage nuclear fuel issues, while Eskom will operate the future stations.