Government starts pre-procurement Vendor Parade Workshops

OCTOBER 20, 2014

Government is making significant progress in its engagements with various prospective nuclear vendors as part of the process towards implementation of the expansion in the nuclear new build programme, as per the stated requirement for energy security based on a sustainable energy mix, the Department of Energy said.

This programme is premised on the Nuclear Energy Policy of 2008; the Nuclear Energy Act 46 of 1999; and the Integrated Resource Plan, (IRP) adopted in 2011.

Similarly, the National Development Plan enjoins us to do thorough investigations on various aspects of the nuclear power generation programme before a procurement decision is taken. These planned vendor parade workshops form part of the Government technical investigation in preparation for a procurement decision.

These policy prescripts are meant to add 9600 megawatts of electricity to the national electricity grid and ensure that we keep the lights on in a sustainable manner.

Recently, government has been holding consultations with a number of nuclear vendor countries. Government has engaged with the United States of America, South Korea, Russia, France, Japan and China. These are the countries that have Pressurized Water Reactor nuclear technology, similar to Koeberg Nuclear Power Plant, situated in the Western Cape. South Africa has been safely using this technology for the past 30 years.

As part of the pre-procurement phase and preparation for the roll out of the new nuclear build programme, Government has entered into several negotiations with vendor countries and has recently signed Inter-Governmental Framework Agreements with the Russian Federation and France Republic.

South Africa also has signed Agreements with the USA and South Korea. It is envisaged that the Minister of Energy, Hon Tina Joemat-Pettersson will be signing similar agreements with China during the first week of November 2014 and Japan at a later stage.

Parallel to this work and as part of the preparatory phase, the Department has planned to hold vendor parade workshops with all the vendor countries that are ready and have accepted the invitation to participate. The vendor parade workshops entail vendor countries presenting their nuclear technology offerings.

The platform is created for vendor countries to showcase and demonstrate their capabilities on how, if chosen, they plan to meet South Africa’s needs. This will assist South Africa in its procurement decision-making process. The first workshop will be held before the end of October 2014 starting with the Russian Federation. 

Government officials from different departments will attend this workshop. Including state owned enterprises related in energy matters as well as academia involved in nuclear and engineering programs.

Government remains committed to ensure energy security for the country, through the roll out of the nuclear new build programme as an integral part of the energy mix. Government remains committed to ensuring the provision of reliable and sustainable electricity supply, as part of mitigating risk on carbon emissions.

The nuclear new build programme will enable the country to create jobs, develop skills, create industries, and catapult the country into a knowledge economy. Government remains committed to a procurement process that is in line with the country’s legislation and policies.