DoE IRP Nuclear Treasury

Is a new nuclear programme for SA affordable?

Engineering News, 15 April, 2014.

South Africa may have difficulty in financing new nuclear power plants (NPPs), an Academy of Science of South Africa symposium in Pretoria has been warned. The concern was expressed by University of Cape Town Energy Research Centre director Professor Harald Winkler.

Eskom has a R225-billion shortfall for its current build programme,” he pointed out. “The government is providing R350-billion in debt guarantees. Total government debt is R1.4-trillion with a worsening debt-to-GDP [gross domestic product] ratio. Servicing the debt costs R115-billion. There is little room for further guarantees.”

The nuclear companies that would supply the new NPPs could offer financing for the proposed new build programme. Russia has done so. But the issue then becomes the provisions of the contracts. What would South Africa be locked into?

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