Eskom will be unable to get the nuclear package it has promised the nation
Utility cannot square the circle of financing, timing and electricity cost without being someone’s guinea pig
After the latest failure in September of the South African government to issue a request for proposal for new nuclear power plants, Energy Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson confirmed that Eskom rather than the Department of Energy would procure future nuclear power plants. Eskom’s group executive for generation, Matshela Koko, has revealed Eskom’s nuclear strategy. This plan is similar to the call for tenders carried out by Eskom in 2008 that ended with the supplier being chosen only to find that the deal could not be financed. So what are the chances that this plan will be more successful than that of 2008? Eskom expects to buy two reactors with a total capacity of 2,400MW-3,200MW, depending on the output of the design chosen, to be on-line by 2026. It claims it will be able to provide some of the finance required from its balance sheet and it is looking to buy a "standardised design" with no "leading-edge technology". Koko has stated that the target price was R1/kWh. Since finance w...