The power station could cost around a trillion rand.(REUTERS)
Government says it cannot say how much its nuclear power programme will cost. This comes after speculation that it could cost in excess of a trillion rands.
The nuclear built programme aims to produce nine point six gigawatts of electricity by 2030, enough to power a city the size of Johannesburg.
The Energy Department says the technology is low on operational maintenance and fuel costs.
“You operate this asset for 80 years at the very least than this is a strong case for government to proceed with the roll-out of the nuclear built programme,” says the Department's Zizamele Mbambo.
Democratic Alliance (DA) MP Gordon Mackay says: “So it’s very strange chair that we are wanting to buy something which we don't know the cost of, we don't know how we're gonna pay for it.”
African National Congress (ANC) MP Thandi Mahambehlala says: “How much are we contributing as South Africa? Are we paying the entire trillion or we are getting money elsewhere.”
The Department says the programme can be financed - possibly with the option of an owner-operator funding model structure.
“You'll only know the actual cost once you've got the information from the bidders who are telling you the exact cost of their technologies. At this stage, all that you can give would be estimate and benchmark and we need to be cautious in doing that, that we give estimates of prices which may end up being different,” says Mbambo.
The procurement process is expected to be completed by the end of the year.