Exploring Hydrocarbon Depletion
Page added on March 1, 2012
South Africa plans to allocate more funds towards the construction of nuclear power plants as it aims to boost electricity supply in Africa’s biggest economy, Energy Minister Dipuo Peters said on Tuesday.
South Africa, which runs the only nuclear power plant on the continent, allocated 300 billion rand ($39.55 billion) for its nuclear build programme in its budget last week.
“The amount of money that has been allocated as an indication for the nuclear build, it’s not a thumb suck and we don’t actually say that is the end amount, but we believe that it is the beginning,” Peters told reporters.
South Africa’s new energy resource plan, expected to be signed into law by April, has called for nuclear and renewable energy to play a bigger role in plugging the country’s power gap as it seeks to halve its reliance on coal, which supplies 85 percent of the country’s electricity needs.
The country’s power supply is just ahead of demand and authorities are scrambling to avert a repeat of blackouts in 2008 that hit the key mining sector and cost the economy billions of dollars.
French utility EDF said earlier in February it would make a joint bid with a Chinese partner when South Africa launches a tender to build several nuclear reactors, expected in the first half of this year. ($1 = 7.5855 South African rand)