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VIENNA, September 22. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia will supply eight nuclear power units to South Africa until 2023 under the agreement signed in Vienna on Monday.
These will be the first nuclear power plants using Russian technology in Africa, with a combined capacity of 9.6 gigawatts.
“Rosatom is ready to assist South Africa in creating a world-class industrial cluster from the initial stage of the nuclear fuel cycle to engineering and production of equipment,” Rosatom Head Sergei Kiriyenko said at the signing ceremony held on the sidelines of the 58th session of the U.N. General Assembly of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
He said this would allow Russia and South Africa to carry out joint projects in third countries in the future. The project will also create thousands of new jobs and generate local contracts worth up to $10 billion.
South African Energy Minister Tina Pettersson said her country was interested as never before in the development of peaceful uses of nuclear energy as the driver of economic growth in the country.
The new nuclear power plants in South Africa are to be commissioned in 2023. Kiriyenko earlier evaluated the project at$40 billion to $50 billion.
“On reactor costs about $5 billion. All conditions factored in, eight units will cost from $40 billion to $50 billion,” he said.
Russia is also ready to provide a low-interest loan for the project. Experts say that it will allow South Africa to build its own nuclear power industry, achieve 40%-60% localisation, create about 30,000 new jobs and bring in $16 billion in investment as well as $5 billion worth of budget revenue.
The South African government has determined three sites for building new nuclear power plants. The country is home to Africa’s only Koeberg nuclear power plant.