The future of South Africa’s energy supply could be shaped by a cash injection from the United States of America. The government, in their ongoing discussions with NEDLAC and foreign investors, has entertained the idea of letting an international development firm finance and build a new nuclear power plant in Mzansi.
An American nuclear power plant in South Africa?
As Bloomberg has confirmed, The US International Development Finance Corp (DFC) has signed a letter of intent to support plans laid out by NuScale, an American technology group that are ready to kick on with this project.
Amongst the billions of dollars they’ve pledged to South Africa, a ‘secure, reliable energy supply through the construction of new nuclear plants’ is their major priority.
A continental first for South Africa?
The DFC released a statement last week, confirming that they would be pioneering in their ambitious blueprint. Should a new nuclear plant get the green light, this would be the first IPP funded by the USA throughout the whole of Africa.
“If the United States International Development Finance Corp is successful, NuScale would be the first U.S. nuclear energy IPP on the continent and would help support energy resilience and security in one of Africa’s leading economies.”
Statement from the DFC
More than just a nuclear power plant planned
It’s understood that the DFC would go further than just building a new nuclear power plant in South Africa. It’s reported that their investment would plough billions into private infrastructure and public transport ‘between now and 2022’:
- The construction of a billion-rand plant tops their agenda, providing a further 2 500 megawatts of power in South Africa.
- The DFC has signed a letter of intent to support NuScale’s bid for South Africa’s independent power producer program.
- The draft envisages R23 billion ($1.4 billion) being allocated to galvanize private investment in infrastructure.
- A further R4.5 billion would be spent on public transport development over the next 12 months.