PRETORIA, May 3. /TASS/. The High Court of South Africa’s province Western Cape, which invalidated the agreement with Russian nuclear corporation Rusatom on cooperation in the nuclear energy sphere, also suspended preparation for a tender on construction of nuclear power plants (NPP) with the total capacity of 9.6 GW, press service of Eskom energy company, the operator of the nuclear project, told TASS on Wednesday.
The company was to complete receipt of requests for information (RFI) from prospective bidders on April 28. "The RFI was set aside by the court ruling last week and as such Eskom cannot provide details of the process," Eskom press service said.
Four companies from China (State Nuclear Power Technology), France (EDF), Russia (Rosatom) and the Republic of Korea (KEPCO) are main bidders for construction of the NPP in South Africa.
The company responded to the RFI, Rosatom told TASS. South Africa’s Department of Energy may appeal against the court decision, Energy Minister Mmamoloko Kubayi said on Tuesday.
The agreement between Rosatom and South Africa’s Department of Energy provides for a strategic partnership for the development of the nuclear power industry of South Africa. It envisages not only with the construction of nuclear power plants, but development of various areas of nuclear industry in general, in particular construction of a multipurpose research reactor under the Russian technology and training of South African specialists in Russian universities.
The document aroused sharp criticism of the opposition in South Africa, which considered that it violated the national legislation, since it obliges the government to work exclusively with Rosatom without holding any tender. The Russian state nuclear corporation and South Africa’s Energy Department denied these allegations.
The anti-nuclear lobby is attempting to shelve the NPP construction project through the court, Board Chairman of the Nuclear Energy Corporation of South Africa (NECSA) told TASS.