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All systems go for procurement of 2,500 megawatts of nuclear energy – Ramokgopa

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By Ragheema Mclean

Electricity Minister Kgosientsho Ramokgopa has announced the go-ahead for the procurement of some 2,500 megawatts of nuclear energy.

Speaking at a media briefing on Tuesday, Ramokgopa said the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA) has given government the go-ahead to start the procurement process of 2,500 megawatts of new generation capacity from nuclear.

Ramokgopa said that this procurement of nuclear power will be a long-term project to address future energy demands and to prevent history from repeating itself by not planning for the current rolling power cuts.

“Part of the reason we are here where we are here today is because when we were advised in 1997 about the need for us to build new generation capacity and that if we do not build that new generation capacity, the country is going to run into generation problem.”

He explained, “We are going out to ensure that we are able to get that additional 2,500 megawatts of nuclear capacity to ensure we are able to meet the issues of national security and energy sovereignty.”

“We have two tasks. The one task which is a primary task is ending load shedding and ensuring that there’s sufficient generation that meets demands immediately.”

Meanwhile, Ramokgopa said that the next step would be publishing a government gazette.

“To give legal effect to the ministerial determination for the procurement of new nuclear capacity of August 2020, the determination and NERSA’s concurrence will be gazetted.”

Load shedding has been reduced to Stage 2 at 07:00 on Tuesday until 16:00.  Thereafter, Stage 3 load shedding will be implemented from 16:00 today until 16:00 on Thursday.

Eskom says the lowering of the stages of load-shedding is due to sustained generation capacity improvement and adequate emergency reserves.

Photo: GovernmentZA/X

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