South Africa to build new nuclear power plants to add 2,500 MW capacity

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The South African government will begin the process of adding 2,500 megawatts (MW) to its nuclear capacity, with the first commissioning expected in 2032 or 2033, a senior official said last month. 

“We are triggering a procurement process. We are going out to ensure that we are able to get that additional 2,500 MW of nuclear capacity to ensure energy security and sovereignty. This is a significant milestone,” Kgosientsho Ramokgopa, Minister in the Presidency responsible for electricity, said at a media briefing in the city of Johannesburg.  

“What we know about nuclear is that it is the cheapest, the safest and most reliable. And we are going this route,” he added. 

While the country is currently focused on ending load shedding, commonly known as power cuts, the Minister emphasised their intent to secure energy for the future, saying that the new nuclear procurement determination is currently in the process of being gazetted by the government. 

South Africa currently operates only one nuclear power station, Koeberg, situated in the Western Cape Province, which is undergoing maintenance to extend its operating license and lifespan.