Rosatom signs deal to build South African nuclear plant

Signing deal - []

Rosatom is to construct a nuclear power plant and research centre in Nigeria.

“The development of nuclear technologies will allow Nigeria to strengthen its position as one of the leading countries of the African continent,” Anton Moskvin, Rosatom’s vice president for overseas marketing and business development, said in a statement on the company’s website.

A broad nuclear cooperation agreement had been signed by the government and Rosatom in 2009, as South Africa attempts to modernise its power infrastructure. The country has been plagued by blackouts over the past decade, affecting the economy.

Moskvin signed the latest agreements with Simon Mallam, chairman of Nigeria’s Atomic Energy Commission, on the sidelines of a nuclear conference in Abu Dhabi.

Feasibility studies for the new nuclear power plant include site screening and financing schemes, Moskvin said.

Rosatom, South Korea’s Kepco, France’s EDF and Areva, Toshiba-owned Westinghouse and China’s CGN are competing for South Africa’s project, which could be worth tens of billions of dollars to develop up to 9,600 MW, should it get the green light.

South Africa’s environmental department has also granted authorization to state-owned power utility Eskom to build a new 4,000 MW nuclear power plant in the Western Cape province, Reuters reported in mid-October.